Herbs or shrubs. Leaves alternate, without stipules. Flowers solitary or in cymes, regular or sometimes slightly irregular, bisexual. Calyx persistent, usually with 5 teeth or lobes. Corolla rotate or tubular, 4–5-lobed. Stamens 4–5; if 4 present a staminode also usually present, epipetalous, alternating with the corolla lobes. Ovary superior, 2-locular, rarely becoming 4-locular by the growth of a secondary dissepiment; placentas axile; septum oblique; style simple. Fruit a berry or capsule. Seeds few to numerous, ± reniform; embryo curved in the endosperm. 102 gen., cosmop.