Prostrate or erect herbs, often with latex. Leaves alternate or opposite sometimes rosetted; stipules absent. Flowers in racemes or solitary in the leaf axils, bisexual or sometimes unisexual and the plants dioecious. Sepals 5. Corolla tubular, often with 5 irregular lobes, usually slit to the base or notched anteriorly although the pedicel is twisted to bring the slit to the posterior position. Stamens 5; anthers (and often the upper parts of the filaments) connate around the style (Fig. 43), all or only the anterior ones hairy at the apex; filaments often adnate to the corolla tube basally. Ovary inferior, 2–5-locular; placentas axile. Fruit a capsule or indehiscent and ± fleshy. 79 gen., mostly temp.