Description: Perennial glabrous or pubescent herbs.
Leaves alternate, irregularly and deeply much-divided, rarely entire, somewhat succulent; stipules small, linear.
Inflorescence of solitary flowers, 1–3 per branch; pedicellate. Flowers actinomorphic, bisexual, 4- or 5-merous. Sepals 5 [or 4], imbricate, linear, entire, toothed or much-divided, persistent. Petals 5 [or 4], imbricate. Stamens usually 10–15, inserted at the base of the short annular disc; anthers basifixed; filaments slender, broadened at the base. Ovary superior, globose, usually 3-locular, ovules numerous; style long; stigma of subequal length, twisted, 3-keeled, papillate.
Fruit a loculicidal capsule [or a berry]; seeds numerous, mucilaginous, with endosperm.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 6 species, Mediterranean region to Mongolia, also Mexico & Texas. Australia: 1 species (naturalised).
Sometimes placed in the family Peganaceae or included in Zygophyllaceae.
Text by K.L. Wilson, Flora of New South Wales Vol. 3: 14-15 (1992), under Peganaceae.
|One species in NSW: Peganum harmala|