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Annual or perennial herbs. Leaves stipulate, small, opposite or pseudoverticillate in lower part. Stipules scarious. Inflorescences terminal, dense or lax. Flowers small, bisexual, sometimes perigynous; Sepals entirely scarious, white, not carinate. Petals 5, entire, emarginate or denticulate. Stamens 5 (sometimes fewer), filaments inserted below a disc. Ovary unilocular, ovules few to many; Fruit a capsule dehiscing by 3 valves. Seeds tiny, reniform, translucent.


Asia-Tropical, Tropical Africa present, southern Asia to Australia present
About 50 species, mostly intropical Africa, throughout southern Asia to Australia. In Malesia four species.


The present treatment has been based on the revision by .


Pax & Hoffm. 1934 – In: Engl. & Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam., ed. 2, 16c. p 308
Pers. 1805 – In: Syn. Pl. p 262
Bittrich 1993 – In: Kubitzki et al., Fam. Gen. Vasc. Pl. 2. p 221