Perennial or annual herbs or undershrubs, all parts variably pubescent. Leaves alternate, rarely opposite, often crowded, petiolate or sessile, flat to cylindrical; stipules 0. Inflorescence mostly frondose. Flowers bisexual, often seemingly solitary or in axillary groups. Perianth 4- or 5-lobed; tube +/- campanulate, sometimes short, often strigose; lobes valvate or imbricate, white inside, yellow or pink outside. Stamens few to many, arising from calyx throat, in groups alternating with calyx lobes; filaments filiform. Ovary superior, 4- or 5-locular, sometimes discoid, included in calyx tube, with 2-many pendulous ovules per locule. Fruit a capsule with central impression, somewhat corky or woody, expanding keels long or short, lifting valves only slightly. Seeds small, pear-shaped or reniform, on long funicle, with concentric ridges. x= 8.
Species +/- 25, Mediterranean; 11 in sthn Afr., often introduced as weed into suitable climates, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Northern, Western and Eastern Cape.

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith