Herbaceous or woody, mostly with opposite lvs., no stipules. Fls. perfect, solitary or clustered, regular, mostly minute in ours. Fl.-tube persistent, enclosing but free from the 1-4 loculed ovary, with 4-6 minute sepals and sometimes accessory teeth in the sinuses. Petals when present as many as the primary calyx-teeth, inserted with the 4-17 stamens on the fl. tube. Anthers versatile, longitudinally dehiscent. Style 1; stigma 2-lobed; ovules many or few, anatropous. Caps. 1-several-celled, variously dehiscent or indehiscent. Seeds without endosperm. (Munz, Flora So. Calif. 560).