Perennial soft-wooded shrubs or subshrubs; branches usually erect, somewhat woody. Leaves usually opposite, sessile, succulent, borne in terminal clusters. Inflorescence a thyrse with 1–several dichasia each ending in monochasial branches; peduncle scape-like with 1 or 2 pairs of small bracts. Flowers usually pendulous; sepals 5, fleshy, connate; petals 5, connate in a tube for at least half their length, free portion recurved or recoiled at anthesis, yellow, red or greenish; stamens 10, adnate to base of petals, in 2 whorls of unequal length, shorter than petals, glabrous except for a tuft of hairs where filament fused to tube, anthers exserted; ovaries superior, carpels as many as petals, sometimes slightly connate at base, each with many ovules, each often with a basal, usually cup-shaped nectary gland, style slender, stigma small. Fruit a follicle; seeds many, ellipsoid, small, with longitudinal ridges and transverse striations.
9 species, mainly in southern Africa with 1 species extending to Ethiopia and the Arabian Peninsula; 1 species naturalised in Australia, many cultivated.