Herbs annual or perennial, short pubescent or glabrescent. Leaves alternate. Cymes becoming racemelike after anthesis, ebracteate or rarely with few bracts. Calyx 5-lobed or parted, slightly enlarged or not in fruit. Corolla blue or white, rarely light purple, usually salverform, rarely campanulate or funnelform; throat appendages 5, scalelike; lobes 5, spreading, rotund, margin convolute. Stamens included; anthers ovate to elliptic, apex obtuse. Ovary 4-parted. Style linear; stigma discoid, mucronate. Gynobase flat or slightly convex. Nutlets 4, usually ovate, appressed, lenticular, vertical, smooth, shiny; attachment scar basal.
"Cor salverform to broadly funnelform, equaling to much exceeding the cal, the throat obstructed by the fornices; stamens included; nutlets smooth and shining, with an evident raised margin all the way around, and with a small, basilateral scar, the gynobase low and broad; glabrous or strigose (but not hispid or setose) herbs with blue or less often white (rarely yellow) fls in terminal, naked, helicoid cymes (“racemes”), or the lower fls scattered among the lvs; fruiting pedicels erect or spreading. 50, temp. and boreal."
Ovary deeply 4-lobed; style gynobasic, filiform; stigma obtuse
Fruit composed of 4 erect, oblong-ovoid glabrous shining nutlets fixed by a small basal areole to the flat or convex receptacle.
Flowers small in scorpioid cymes
Calyx campanulate, 5-toothed or divided to just below the middle into 5 mostly narrow lobes, persistent, not or slightly accrescent in fruit
Corolla blue, white or yellow; tube cylindric or funnel-shaped, the throat usually with scales, papillae or swellings; lobes 5, spreading, contorted in bud
Stamens 5, included or exserted; filaments filiform; anthers linear, with the connective prolonged into a small trulliform appendage
Leaves alternate, mostly oblong or lanceolate, entire, the basal ones shortly petiolate, the cauline ones sessile