Subshrubs [herbs, shrubs], perennial or rarely annual or biennial, usually succulent, sometimes hairy or prickly. Roots fibrous [tuberous]. Stems prostrate-creeping [erect, decumbent]. Leaves cauline, opposite, sessile; stipules absent; blade variable, slightly connate basally or distinct, broadly triangular to cylindric, linear, or rarely flat, finely papillate. Inflorescences axillary or terminal, flowers solitary or in cymes, pedicillate; bracts 2, leaflike. Flowers showy, tubular, 1.5-8 cm diam.; calyx lobes 5, green, linear, unequal; petals (often including petaloid staminodia) 60-100 in few series, distinct, free, white, yellow, or red; nectary glands 5, distinct or rarely connate; stamens ca. 100, inner stamens erect, whitish; pistil (4-)5(-6)-carpellate; ovary inferior, (4-)5(-6)-loculed, slightly convex; placentation parietal; style absent; stigmas (4-)5(-6), subulate, sometimes caudate, apex acute, papillate. Fruits capsules, persistent, keels interior, expanding, usually with papery, marginal wings, membrane covering seed absent, dehiscence loculicidal, not separating into segments, not reclosing. Seeds ca. 100, pale brown, roundish, sometimes arillate, 5-15 mm, smooth to slightly textured.
Leaves opposite, sessile, lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, soft, green, minutely and distinctly papillose, devoid of radiating setae at their tips
Decumbent or prostrate succulent perennial herbs, usually branched with distinct internodes and often forming clumps, sometimes tuberous and stemless
Cell-wings absent, the cells thus unroofed and the seeds exposed in the expanded capsule.
Ovary inferior, of 5 united carpels, 5-celled; stigmas 5, free, style-like; ovules and seeds many per cell, parietal
Fruit a 5-valved capsule, opening under moist conditions by means of 2 contiguous expanding keels running down the inner face of each valve, the keels membranous-winged in their apical (outer) part
Staminodes many, obvious, petaloid, lanceolate, free
Stamens many, free, like the staminodes inserted on the calyx-tube
Flowers solitary, terminal or axillary
Calyx gamosepalous, 5-lobed, the lobes unequal, the largest one or two horned or tailed and leaf-like
Ovary 5-locular, more or less convex; glands separated, partially crenulated; placentas parietal; stigmas 5, acute, papillose.
Fruit 5-locular, keels with membranous marginal wings.
Decumbent or prostrate creeping shrubs or perennial herbs.
Staminodes in few series, more or less linear.
Stamens whitish, sometimes hairy towards the base.
Flowers terminal or axillary, solitary or in cymes, pedicellate, with leaf-like bracts, purple or white.
Perianth-segments 5, equal or unequal, the longer ones sometimes horn-shaped or caudate.
|[Greek delos, visible, and sperma, seed, in reference to the seeds being exposed as the fruits dehisce]|