Perennial shrublets or shrubs, rarely herbs, mostly branch-shedders, erect; branches woody at base, often forming dense mats, lateral branches alternate, secund, spreading. Leaves opposite or alternate, small, mostly obovate; stipules 0. Inflorescence often clearly separated from well-developed vegetative base. Flowers perigynous, bisexual, axillary, sessile or stalked, sometimes in terminal cymes, distal ones often with adnate bracts and bracteoles. Perianth 4- or 5-lobed; tube +/- campanulate. Stamens 8-10, in alternisepalous pairs; filaments flat, tapering upwards; anthers small, yellow. Ovary superior, 2-5-locular, usually glandular; ovule solitary in each locule, pendulous, campylotropous; styles 2(-5), free or united below; stigmatic along inner surface. Fruit a small, weakly hygrochastic or xerochastic capsule. Seeds compressed, reniform to orbicular.
Species +/- 30, Africa; +/- 30 in sthn Afr., Namibia, Botswana, Free State and Northern Cape.