Annual or perennial, erect, subprostrate or twining herbs with mostly hairy stems. Leaves paired; stipules with base divided into several narrow segments. Flowers bisexual, small and white or rather large and coloured, monomorphic or dimorphic, in cymose heads, which in fruit develop into a long simple spike with fruits geminately arranged and a solitary remotely placed flower in axil at base of spike. Calyx: tube ovoid or elongate-oblong; lobes 5, unequal: 1-3 foliaceous and larger than the rest, alternating with small colleters. Corolla: tube long and narrow, with a markedly ovoid-oblong apical dilation in long-styled forms; throat densely hairy; lobes in small-flowered species elliptic, but in large-flowered species broader, ovate to orbicular, narrowing to base where lobes are often connate for a short distance. Stamens completely exserted in short-styled forms. Style exserted in long-styled forms, stigma bifid with filiform lobes; anthers completely included in apical dilation of corolla tube. Capsule oblong, compressed, ribbed, opening by apical valves and also frequently splitting longitudinally. Seeds small, reticulate.
Species 8, widely distributed in trop. Africa; sthn trop. Afr. 2, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique.
Tapinopentas Bremek.; White: 421 (1962).