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