Perennial herbs, often with a creeping rhizome, or annuals. Leaves alternate, basal leaves or leaves of sterile creepers often different in shape from stem leaves. Flowers solitary in the axils of upper leaves or in loose, raceme-like cymes, usually without bracts, pentamerous. Stamens: anthers nearly sessile, ovoid.
Asia-Temperate, Central Europe present, Mediterranean region present, Northern America
About 25 species mainly in the Mediterranean region, Mexico and China, but with few species in Central Europe, Caucasus, etc. Omphalodes linifolia is widely cultivated and sometimes escapes from culture.
Basic chromosome numbers seem to be x = 6, 7, 11, but no diploids are known apart from one species with 2n = 22.