Annual or perennial herbs or low shrubs. Leaves alternate or opposite, sessile or petiolate, usually fleshy, simple, exstipulate. Flowers hermaphrodite, axillary, solitary or in cymes. Perianth sepaloid, 5-cleft, with more or less turbinate or hemispherical tube. Stamens many, in groups, alternating with perianth segments ;anthers 2-celled. Ovary superior, 3-5-celled, each cell 2- to many-ovuled; stigmas 3-5. Capsule 3-5-celled, dehiscent loculicidally or by a star-shaped slit at apex.