Perennial herbs; stems simple or branched from rhizomes. Leaves alternate, often also in basal rosettes, pinnate, leaflets entire or divided. Inflorescence paniculate, rarely capitate, bracteate. Inflorescences a terminal or axillary cyme. Flowers pedicellate; sepals 5, equal, basally united, tube herbaceous, accrescent, chartaceous in fruit; corolla 5-lobed, campanulate to rotate; stamens usually equally inserted in throat of corolla-tube, included or exserted, filaments puberulent below point of attachment; ovary 3-celled, stigma 3-lobed. Capsule 3-celled, 3-valved, chartaceous, dehiscence regular; seeds 1–12 per cell, sometimes becoming mucilaginous when wet.
20 species throughout temperate regions of the northern hemisphere and one species in South America; 1 species recorded in Australia.