Herbs, shrubs or rarely trees. Leaves simple, alternate, stipulate. Stipules small or leaf like. Flowers solitary, axillary, mostly zygomorphic, rarely actinomorphic, bisexual; often bracteolate. Sepals 5, persistent, free or united at base. Petals 5, free, unequal; 4 equal in size, lateral slightly bigger, usually forming a spur at the base. Stamens 5, free or connate, hypogynous, alternating with the petals, often covering the ovary; filaments short. Ovary (2-) 3 (-5)-carpellate, unilocular, placentas 3 (number mostly corresponding to carpels), parietal. Ovules anatropous; style simple, mostly sigmoid or thickened above. Stigma various, usually truncate, lobed, beaked or simple. Fruit a 3-valved capsule, dehiscing loculicidally, rarely indehiscent, baccate or nut like. Seeds numerous, mostly sessile or sometimes borne on short funicle, smooth or rough.