Shrubs or perennial herbs. Leaves alternate, imparipinnate, terminal leaflet often much larger than other leaflets; leaflets 1–15, entire; stipules small, caducous. Inflorescence axillary, usually in paired head-like clusters, flowers rarely in fascicles or solitary; bracts usually palmate, rarely simple; bracteoles absent. Flowers usually yellow, orange or red, sessile or shortly pedicellate; calyx campanulate, 5-lobed, lobes shorter than the tube, equal or unequal; standard broadly elliptic; wings obovate; keel lanceolate; stamens monodelphous or the upper stamen partially free; ovary sessile, style incurved, glabrous. Pod subglobose, sometimes indehiscent, usually enclosed in the persistent calyx; seeds 1–2, smooth.
About 25 species from Europe and northern Africa; 1 species naturalised in Australia.