Description: Prostrate or diffuse, annual or perennial herbs, glabrous, papillose or hairy, sometimes woody at base.
Leaves opposite, unequal, entire, terete or flat, linear, sheathing at base.
Flowers solitary or in loose dichasia, axillary, usually sessile, each subtended by one or more scarious bracts. Perianth shortly tubular, usually fleshy; lobes 5, unequal, with scarious margins. Stamens 5–20, fused to perianth tube; staminodes absent. Ovary superior to half-inferior, 1-locular, placentation basal, ovules 2–many; style 1.
Fruit a capsule, membranous or woody, circumsciss usually near base, the upper part (operculum) flat, ovoid, or subglobose; perianth usually persistent; seeds 1–many, smooth or patterned, often papillose, black.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 20 species, tropical & subtropical regions. Australia: 12 species (10 species endemic), northern & arid areas, Qld, N.S.W., N.T., S.A., W.A.
Text by S. W. L. Jacobs & J. Highet
Taxa not yet included in identification key
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Flowers in clusters of 3–6; petiole with membranous basal sheath; leaves succulent, less than 4 mm wide||Trianthema triquetra|
|Flowers solitary; petiole with green basal sheath; leaves scarcely succulent, more than 4 mm wide||Trianthema portulacastrum|