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Annual or perennial, glabrous or pubescent herbs. Leaves opposite, stipulate, glabrous to villose or glandular; Inflorescence a dichasial cyme, rarely an axillary cluster or flowers solitary. Flowers hypogynous or subperigynous. Sepals (4 or) 5, free, with scarious margins. Petals (3-)5, white, usually bifid, rarely wanting. Stamens 2-5, often some of them reduced to staminodes, filaments ± flattened, anthers versatile. Ovary shortly stip-itate, styles 3, rarely 2 or 4, ± united in lower part; Capsule spherical, dehiscing by 3 valves. Seeds usually tuberculate or verrucose.


Pantropical present, neotropic present
About 50 species, mostly neotropic, one species (D. cordata) pantropical.


The taxonomic position of the genus is uncertain. It shows many characters of the Alsinoideae and the stipules are of a peculiar type different from those found in other members of the Paronychioideae.


Backer & Bakh. f. 1963 – In: Fl. Java: 209
Bittrich 1993 – In: Kubitzki et al., Fam. Gen. Vasc. Pl. 2: 220
N.C. Majumdar 1969 – In: Bull. Bot. Surv. India: 293
Pax & Hoffm. 1934 – In: Engl. & Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam., ed. 2, 16c: 306
Duke 1961 – In: Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard.: 173