Stems ribbed, glabrous, pilose or with small conical hairs or papillae. Leaves in basal rosette or decurrent on stem; small glands on either side near base. Bracts and sepals persistent or caducous; pedicels ribbed; larger petal with scale-like claw and incised limb; stamens usually 12–25; anthers versatile, dehiscing longitudinally; ovules 8–12 per placenta; styles short. Seeds smooth or papillose or rugose.
About 55 species, Mediterranean to central Asia; 5 species naturalised in Australia.