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Herbs, subshrubs or shrubs, often succulent and with fleshy tuberous roots. Leaves alternate (or subopposite), fleshy, entire, flat or terete, petiolate; stipules absent. Inflorescences a terminal or axillary raceme, panicle or cyme, or the flowers solitary and axillary. Sepals 2, free, caducous; petals 5, free or united at base, falling off rapidly; stamens 5-30, arranged in fascicles; ovary superior, sessile or short-stipitate, ovules numerous, basal, style 1, filiform, 3-branched at apexFruit a 1-locular, loculicidally 3-valved capsule, splitting from apex to base, chartaceous; seeds numerous, flattened, orbicular to reniform, shining, with evanescent aril, embryo incompletely annular; testa smooth, striate or tuberculate.


Guianas present, warm areas around the world present
Approximately 40 species in warm areas around the world; 2 species in the Guianas.