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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 .


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