Perennial or rarely annual herbs, sub-shrubs or shrubs. Leaves simple, spirally arranged, often confined to the basal rosettes, entire or rarely pinnatifid to pinnatisect, somewhat sheathing at the bases. Flowers hermaphrodite, actinomorphic, hypogynous, 5-merous, arranged in spicate, paniculate or sub-capitate inflorescence. Calyx gamosepalous, funnel-shaped, obconical or tubular; limb scarious, persistent, forming a dispersal unit with the fruit. Corolla polypetalous to gamopetalous. Stamens 5 with more or less dilated filaments, adnate at base to the petals or very rarely connate at base. Ovary superior, 1-locular with one basal circinotropous ovule; styles 5, free from the base or united throughout their whole length; stigmas variously capitate or filiform-cylindrical. Fruit single-seeded, dispersing with the calyx; pericarp dry, membranous, free from the seed. Seeds with mealy endosperm and straight embryo.