Biennial or perennial herbs (rarely small shrubs). Leaves simple, alternate, sometimes mostly basal, petiolate. Flowers in terminal racemes, bracteoles absent. Sepals 5, unequal; corolla more or less 2-lipped, tube cylindric, dilated above calyx, often constricted at base, lips spreading, the upper 2-lobed and shorter than the 3-lobed lower lip; stamens 4, in 2 pairs, anthers 2-locular; stigma 2-lobed. Capsule ovoid to conical, septicidal; seeds numerous, minute.
20–30 species, from Europe, the Mediterranean region and Canary Islands; 1 species naturalised in Australia.