Herbs, shrubs or small trees. Leaves alternate, simple or palmately lobed, often with stellate hairs; stipules present or absent. Epicalyx of free or connate bracteoles present or absent. Flowers bisexual unisexual or polygamous, regular. Sepals 5, usually connate, valvate. Petals 5; cohering at the base, minute or absent. Stamens 5–15, or numerous; free or ± connate; often alternating with staminodes. Ovary superior; carpels free or united; 2–many-locular; ovules 2–many; placentas axile or parietal. Style multi-fid.. Fruit a follicle, loculicidal capsule or schizocarp separating into 1- or 2-seeded mericarps. 243 gen., cosmop.