Annual or perennial herbs or short-lived shrubs, glabrous or pubescent with simple, forked, stellate or glandular hairs. Leaves alternate, often paired and unequal in size, simple, entire, toothed or lobed, petiolate. Flowers solitary in leaf-axils and forks of stems, bisexual, regular; calyx tubular to campanulate, 5-lobed, enlarged in fruit; corolla broad-campanulate to rotate, shortly 5-lobed, usually yellow, limb folded in bud; stamens 5, equal or unequal, inserted near base of corolla-tube, anthers 2-celled, basifixed, dehiscing by longitudinal slits; ovary 2-celled, style slender, stigma slightly 2-lobed or capitate. Fruit a berry enclosed by inflated calyx; seeds discoidal, lenticular or reniform, numerous.
About 100 species mostly from North and South America but also in Asia; 8 species in Australia, 1 considered native, 7 introduced.
Several species have edible berries and have been cultivated for their fruit.