Herbs or undershrubs. Leaves linear, spirally arranged. Flowers arranged in dense spikes, ± irregular. Calyx deeply divided into 3–5-lobes. Corolla 4–5-lobed, usually oblique. Stamens 4, usually arranged in pairs, inserted near the top of the corolla tube. Ovary superior, 2-locular, with 1 pendulous ovule per loculus. Style simple. Fruit usually schizocarpic, separating into 2 mericarps. 8 gen., Africa to W. Aust. 3 gen. in Aust.