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Annual or perennial herbs, often glandular hairy, rather small, often caespitose, erect, procumbent or prostrate. Leaves exstipulate, sessile or shortly petiolate. Flowers solitary or in few- to many-flowered dichasia, axillary or terminal. Sepals 5 (or 4), free, often with scarious margin. Petals 5 (or 4), white, eMarginate to bifid up to nearly half their length, rarely absent. Stamens 5 or most often 10 (or 8) inserted on a disc. Ovary (3-)5-carpellate, with numerous ovules; Capsule with twice as many teeth as there are styles, often curved and exserted from the calyx; Seeds reniform, spherical to broadly ovoid or compressed, verrucose.


Europe: present worldwide but mainly in the northern temperate zone: present
About 100 species worldwide but mainly in the northern temperate zone, about 60 in Europe.




Söllner - in Ber. Schweiz. Bot. Ges. 1954: 221
L., Gen. Pl., ed. 5. 1754: 199
Pax & Hoffm. - in Engl. & Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam., ed. 2, 16c. 1934: 323
Bittrich - in Kubitzki et al., Fam. Gen. Vasc. Pl. 2. 1993: 226