Herbs often with latex. Leaves basal and alternate, toothed, lobed or dissected; stipules absent. Flowers bisexual, regular, solitary. Sepals 2–3, sometimes connate into a calyptra, deciduous. Petals 4 or 6, imbricate, crumpled in the bud. Stamens numerous free. Ovary superior, with 2–12 parietal placentas; stigmas sessile. Fruit a capsule dehiscing by pores or valves. 40 gen., Trop. & temp. N. hemisphere.