Annual, biennial or short-lived perennial herbs, aromatic, mostly glabrous. Leaves alternate, pinnately trifoliolate, petiolate; leaflets obovate or ovate, margins toothed, apices usually obtuse, base cuneate; stipules adnate to petiole. Inflorescence a 2–many-flowered axillary raceme; peduncle usually longer than subtending leaves, sometimes elongating in fruit; bracts minute or absent; bracteoles absent. Flowers on short pedicels; calyx campanulate; teeth 5, subequal; corolla white or yellow, not persistent; standard obovate-oblong, longer or shorter than other petals; wings oblong, auriculate, adherent to keel; keel blunt, clawed, obtuse, usually equal to or shorter than wings; stamens diadelphous, anthers uniform; ovary sessile or subsessile, ovules 2–8, style filiform, straight or incurved, glabrous, stigma small, terminal. Pod globose or ovoid, straight, beaked, surface variously wrinkled or furrowed, indehiscent, longer than calyx; seeds usually 1 or 2, ovoid, smooth, verrucose or tuberculate, lacking a conspicuous aril.
About 25 species, from temperate regions of the world, 5 naturalised in Australia.