Description: Annual or perennial herbs, usually erect, usually ± glabrous.
Leaves alternate or rarely opposite, simple, entire or minutely toothed, sessile; stipules small and inconspicuous or absent.
Inflorescence cymose, often corymbose or rarely flowers solitary; bracts absent. Flowers actinomorphic, bisexual, 4- or 5-merous. Sepals usually 5, free or united at base. Petals usually 5, free, often clawed, overlapping. Nectary glands sometimes present between petals and filaments. Stamens usually 5, sometimes alternating with small staminodes; filaments expanded below and united into a short tube; anthers 2-locular, dehiscing introrsely by longitudinal slits. Ovary superior, of 2–5 carpels, and 4–10-locular by development of septa; ovules 4–10; styles 2–5, free or partly united.
Fruit a capsule or rarely a drupe, ± globose to ovoid, each loculus ± completely divided into 2 by a false septum, so that the capsule usually splits into 10 1-seeded divisions leaving no central axis; seeds ± flat.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 12 genera, c. 290 species, cosmopolitan, especially Mediterranean region. Australia: 3 genera, 8 species, all States except N.T.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Linaceae, Order: Malpighiales)
Text by C. L. Gardner