Herbs or subshrubs, perennial [annual]. Stems erect. Leaves alternate, petiolate; blade linear. Inflorescences terminal, many-flowered spikes. Flowers bisexual; tepals 5, distinct, scarious, usually glabrous; filaments connate basally into tube; anthers 2- or 4-locular; pseudostaminodes 2-lobed, alternating with filaments; ovules 2-several; style persistent, 0.5 mm; stigmas [2-]3, filiform. Utricles cylindric-ovoid, membranous, dehiscence centrally circumscissile. Seeds 2-8, black, flattened.
Stamens 5, the filaments fused for at least half their length, the alternating pseudostaminodes either free and bifid, or each segment adnate to a variable degree to the adjoining filament; antheriferous apex thus appearing as a short tooth overtopped by a free pseudostaminode on each side, or with one short or elongate tooth on each side, or appearing as apical on a broadly flattened, abruptly narrowed or bluntly shouldered “filament”; anthers bilocular.
Perianth segments 5, equal or slightly dissimilar.
Ovary with (2) numerous (over 20) ovules; style distinct and elongate to almost obsolete; stigmas 2–3 (5), filiform.
Seeds black, strongly compressed and shiny, feebly reticulate, endosperm present.
Flowers bracteate and bibracteolate in spikes or heads terminal on the stem and branches; bracts and bracteoles persistent on fruit-fall.
Annual or perennial herbs, sometimes somewhat woody at the base, but never scandent.
Leaves alternate, simple, entire.
Seeds black, compressed-lenticular, ± shining, reticulate.
Flowers small, bibracteolate, in dense to elongating bracteate spikes or occasionally rounded capitula, hermaphrodite, usually white or pink
Leaves alternate, simple, entire
Annual or perennial herbs, sometimes woody at the base, but never scandent
Capsule ovoid, circumscissile, never thickened above
Ovary with numerous ovules; style short and ill-marked or occasionally distinct; stigmas (2–)3(–5)
Stamens 5, fused into a tube below, the short antheriferous teeth alternating with conspicuous pseudostaminodes, with a long or short tooth on each side, or set on the rounded apex of the dilated filaments; anthers bilocular
|Guineaflower [for Sigismund Friedrich Hermbstädt, 1760-1833, German botanist]|