Herbs annual or perennial. Trichomes absent or simple. Stems erect or ascending, leafy or leafless. Basal leaves petiolate, rosulate or not, simple, often lyrate-pinnatifid, rarely bipinnatisect or dentate. Cauline leaves petiolate or sessile, not auriculate, entire, dentate, or lyrate-pinnatifid, sometimes absent. Racemes ebracteate, elongated considerably in fruit. Fruiting pedicels erect or ascending and subappressed to rachis, rarely divaricate. Sepals oblong or linear, deciduous or rarely persistent, erect, base of lateral pair saccate. Petals cream or yellow with dark brown or purple veins, or entire blade purple; blade broadly obovate or oblanceolate, rounded or emarginate; claw subequaling or longer than sepals. Stamens 6, strongly tetradynamous; anthers oblong or linear, obtuse at apex. Nectar glands 4 or 2; lateral pair prismatic; median pair ovoid or oblong, or absent. Ovules 10-50 per ovary. Fruit siliques or silicles, linear, oblong, or ellipsoid, terete or 4-angled, sessile, segmented; valvular segment dehiscent, many seeded; valves smooth, leathery, with a prominent midvein; terminal segment indehiscent, seedless, flattened and ensiform, or 4-angled, shorter or longer than valves; replum rounded; septum complete, membranous; style obsolete; stigma conical, 2-lobed, lobes connivent, decurrent. Seeds biseriate, wingless, globose or ovoid, plump; seed coat minutely reticulate, mucilaginous when wetted; cotyledons conduplicate.
One species: NW Africa, Asia, Europe, naturalized elsewhere.