Shrubs or herbs with stellate and simple hairs. Leaves simple, usually opposite, entire, often stipulate; venation pinnate or palmate, with 1 or 3 prominent parallel nerves. Flowers bisexual, ± actinomorphic, solitary or in cymose inflorescences; sepals 3 or 5 and unequal, usually free; petals 5, free, convolute in bud, caducous, rarely absent; stamens numerous, filaments free, borne on a hypogynous disc; anthers dehiscing by longitudinal slits; ovary superior, 1-locular or imperfectly 3–5(–12)-locular, carpels 3–5(–12), ovules 2–many per carpel, placentation parietal; style simple. Fruit a loculicidal capsule; seeds curved.
8 genera and c. 180 species, predominantly from the Mediterranean region and North America; 1 genus and 5 species naturalised in Australia.
Clarke, I. (2005). 'Wild' Cistus L. (Cistaceae) in Victoria - future problem weeds or benign escapees from cultivation?, Muelleria 21: 77-86.