Fls 6-merous, often dimorphic or trimorphic as to the style and stamens; hypanthium cylindric or narrowly campanulate, 8-12-nerved; sep short, alternating with appendages in the sinuses; pet red-purple to white; stamens (4-)6 or 12; ovary bilocular, with or without a disk; style slender; capsule septicidal or septifragal, enclosed by the persistent hypanthium; herbs or shrubs, usually virgately branched, with opposite, alternate, or whorled lvs and numerous bibracteolate fls sessile in the axils or in small cymes aggregated into a terminal spike-like thyrse. 30, ±cosmopolitan.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.