Prostrate or procumbent perennial herbs or subshrubs. Leaves alternate, entire, papillose; stipules absent or small and caducous. Flowers sessile and solitary in leaf axils; perianth of 1 whorl, the 4 or 5 segments sometimes united at base into a short tube, usually coloured inside; stamens 8 or 10, paired between the segments; ovary superior, 4- or 5-locular; ovules 1 per locule; styles equal in number to locules. Fruit a 4- or 5-angled capsule, opening loculicidally at apex of angles; seeds flattened, triangular to reniform, with tubercles in rows.
About 27 species, all from South Africa; 2 naturalised in Australia.