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Annual herbs, stellate-pubescent, subsucculent; branches ascending to procumbent. Leaves alternate, opposite or whorled, linear to orbicular, often unequal in size at a node; stipules absent. Inflorescences axillary, fasciculate or seemingly cymose, cymes sometimes verticillate or flowers solitary; flowers sessile or pedicellate. Sepals 5, sometimes apically appendaged or cleft; petals absent; stamens 3-20, free, staminodes 0-20, often petaloid and divided at apex; ovary 3- to 5-locular, ovules numerous in each locule, style 1, short, stigmas 5. Capsule loculicidal, thin-walled or membranous; seeds small, strophiolate, testa smooth or granular.


Africa present, Guianas present, New and Old World tropics and subtropics present
Approximately 10 species in the New and Old World tropics and subtropics (especially Africa); 1 species in the Guianas.