Herbs, sometimes becoming woody and shrub-like. Leaves opposite or alternate, petiolate, entire or much dissected; stipules present. Flowers bisexual, regular or slightly irregular. Sepals 5, imbricate. Petals 5, imbricate. Stamens 10, in 2 rows; the outer row sometimes sterile. Ovary superior, 5-locular, 5-lobed, produced upwards into a beak consisting of 5 connate styles; stigmas 5, free. Fruit a schizocarp consisting of 5 mericarps which separate basally; the awns adhering to the beak of the ovary at the top or becoming free, coiled or spiraled. 7 gen., temp., especially Africa.