Description: Small shrubs or subshrubs or (not in Australia) herbs with simple and stellate indumentum.
Leaves simple, opposite or (not in Australia) alternate, entire, with (not in Australia) or without stipules.
Flowers bisexual, almost actinomorphic, in cymes or solitary. Sepals 5, free, unequal, the outer 2 smaller and bracteole-like. Petals 5, or (not in Australia) 3 or absent, free, convolute in bud, caducous. Stamens numerous, on a hypogynous disc; anthers versatile, opening by slits. Ovary superior, usually 1-locular, sometimes (not in Australia) incompletely 5- to 12-locular, 3–10–carpellate; placentation parietal, usually intruding into ovary; ovules several, style simple.
Fruit a loculicidal capsule. Seeds with endosperm; embryo curved.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 8 genera, 220 species, temperate Northern Hemisphere and South America. Australia: 1 Genus, 5 species (naturalised) S.A., N.S.W., A.C.T., Vic., Tas.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Cistaceae, Order: Malvales)
Flowers often showy, frequently cultivated.
Text by Kerry Gibbons, 18 Apr. 2023.
Taxon concept: APG IV, A.S. George in Flora of Australia online [accessed 11 Apr. 2023]; Heywood et al. 2007 Flowering Plant Families of the World (Kew: Surrey, U.K.). Distribution and occurrence: Kew Plants of the World Online; Australian Plant Census [both accessed 11 Apr. 2023].