Perennial herbs or dwarf-shrubs, rarely annuals. Stems mostly thickened at nodes. Leaves oppoite, grass-like. Flowers conspicuous, hermaphrodite or rarely unisexual, solitary or in cymose, terminal inflorescences. Calyx subtended by an epicalyx of 1 to many pairs of mucronate or awned scales (bracts); tube cylindrical to conical; teeth 5, usually short. Petals 5, pink or red, sometimes white, rarely yellow, long-clawed; limb entire, dentate or fringed, hairy or glabrous at base, without coronal scales. Stamens 10. Ovary 1-celled; styles.2. Capsule many-Seeded, cylindrical to ovoid, dehiscing by 4 teeth. Seeds many, compressed, discoid, concave on one side; embryo straight, eccentric.