Description: Annual or perennial herbs, rarely shrubs.
Leaves alternate, entire to deeply pinnatifid; stipules small, usually glandular.
Inflorescence terminal, spikes or racemes, bracteate. Flowers zygomorphic, bisexual; floral parts mostly hypogynous, sometimes slightly perigynous. Sepals usually 4–6. Petals 4–8, white to yellow; unequal, usually clawed with an appendage at base and deeply lobed above, the uppermost petal largest, the lower petals progressively smaller and with less well-developed lobes. Stamens 3–50, evenly spaced around the ovary or rarely crowded to one side of the flower; anthers opening by longitudinal slits. Disc ± collar-shaped, surrounding and fused with the filaments. Gynoecium of 3–7 carpels, ovary superior, 1-locular and open at the top, [or rarely carpels ± free]; stigmas small.
Fruit mostly a dry gaping capsule, [rarely a berry]; seeds reniform.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 6 genera, 70 species, Northern Hemisphere, chiefly Mediterranean. Australia: 1 genus, 4 species, (naturalized), all States except N.T.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Resedaceae, Order: Brassicales)
Text by G. J. Harden