Herbs, summer annual, glaucous, glabrous, with slender taproot. Stems angular, leafy and branched throughout. Leaves alternate, 2 or 3(or 4) × pinnate, or lower leaves 2 or 3 × ternatisect; lower leaves long petiolate; upper leaves shortly petiolate or sessile. Inflorescences leaf-opposed [i.e., displaced-terminal], racemose, subspicate, soon elongating; bracts linear-oblong, scarious. Flowers zygomorphic, on short pedicels. Sepals petaloid, dentate. Upper outer petal with short saccate spur; inner petals fused at apex; nectary short, obtuse. Stamens 2 (= filaments of each triplet completely fused). Stigma transversely oblong, with indistinct papillae. Fruit a ± globular nut, with 2 small depressions at apex. All species self-compatible, and many predominantly selfing.
"Fls asymmetrical; sep small, closely appressed; pet elongate, ± connivent, the upper one of the 2 outer ones spurred at the base, the 2 outer dilated at the summit, the 2 inner (lateral) coherent at the summit over the stigma; fr 1-seeded, indehiscent, globose or nearly so; style deciduous; mostly annuals with the aspect of Corydalis. 50, Old World."
Flowers zygomorphic in leaf-opposed racemes.