Herbs, annual or perennial [rarely shrublets or shrubs]. Stipules present. Leaves alternate or opposite, palmately or pinnately divided, petiolate. Flowers in cymes, pseudoumbels, rarely flowers solitary, usually bisexual, actinomorphic, or ± zygomorphic. Sepals 5, usually distinct, imbricate. Petals usually 5, distinct. Fertile stamens 5 or 10, usually in 2 whorls, sometimes a whorl reduced to staminodes; filaments basally connate or distinct; anthers 2-locular, longitudinally dehiscent. Ovary superior; carpels 5, connate; ovules 1 or 2 per locule, pendulous, anatropous. Fruit a schizocarp with 5 1-seeded awned mericarps which separate elastically from a central beak. Seeds usually with little or no endosperm; embryo folded.
Flowers often handsome, hermaphrodite, actinomorphic or slightly zygomorphic, axillary, solitary to subumbellate
Annual herbs or undershrubs, rarely arborescent; leaves alternate or opposite, mostly lobate, dissected or compound; stipules often paired
Seeds pendulous, with thin or no (rarely copious) endosperm and mostly curved or folded embryo
Fruit lobed; lobes 1-seeded, rarely more-seeded, often beaked, opening from the base upwards
Ovary 3–5-lobed; ovules 1–2 in each cell, superposed, pendulous, rarely more than 2
Stamens 2–3 times the number of the sepals, sometimes a few without anthers; filaments mostly more or less connate at the base; anthers 2-celled, opening lengthwise
Petals 5, rarely 4, very rarely absent, hypogynous or subperigynous, imbricate, rarely contorted