Ephemeral or perennial herbs or small shrubs. Leaves sessile (in Victoria), basal or cauline, alternate or in tufts, margins toothed or entire. Inflorescence a raceme, panicle or corymbose cyme on radical scapes or terminal peduncles. Flowers zygomorphic, pedicellate in the axil of a small bract. Calyx-lobes fused to some extent, c. equal; corolla tubular, deeply 5-lobed, labellum smaller and usually turned down, the other 4 lobes ascending to spreading, usually in pairs (folded or open at night or in dull weather); column motile, elongated and folded; stigma undivided; ovary with many ovules, placentation axile or free-central. Fruit a 2-valved capsule, more or less glandular-hispid.
About 180 species, predominantly in south-west Western Australia, extending throughout Australia to South-east Asia.