Annual herbs. Leaves paired, shortly petiolate; stipules small, with several deltoid segments from a short base. Flowers bisexual, small, dimorphic, some flowers with anthers included and style exserted and others completely vice versa, in small sessile terminal heads. Calyx: tube short; lobes small, 3 or 4, sometimes 1 enlarged and rest minute, or all minute. Corolla: tube narrowly funnel-shaped; lobes 3 or 4, oblong; throat hairy. Ovary 2-locular; ovules solitary in each locule, pendulous; style filiform; stigma bifid, lobes filiform. Fruit ovoid, indehiscent, but longitudinally grooved and where fruit breaks off a little cup is left being the persistent woody flanged pedicel; between this flange and base of fruit masses of raphides present. Seeds narrowly ellipsoid or ovate in outline, strongly compressed.
Monotypic genus: Paraknoxia parviflora (Stapf ex Verdc.) Verdc. ex Bremek., E and C Africa; sthn trop. Afr.: Angola, Zimbabwe, Malawi; close to Pentanisia.
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