Description: Prostrate annuals or short-lived perennials, branches rooting at nodes.
Leaves opposite, succulent, slightly unequal, fused towards base, terete or almost triangular in cross section.
Flowers solitary, terminal on short lateral shoots, pedicellate. Perianth tubular, tapering to the base; perianth lobes 5, the 2 longer ± opposite, leaf-like; smaller 3 not leaf-like, slightly succulent. Petaloid staminodes numerous, in 2 rows. Stamens numerous, in 4 or 5 rows. Ovary inferior, usually 5-locular; styles mostly 5.
Fruit a dehiscent capsule, opening in 5–10 valves; seeds numerous.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 4 species, southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand. Australia: 1 species (endemic).
Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & J. Highet