Annual or perennial, often shrubby herbs, erect, branched, often densely pubescent with branched or stellate hairs, rarely glandular or subglabrous. Leaves pinnatisect to entire, usually oblanceolate to ovate; lower stalked, upper stalked to sessile. Racemes lax, few to many flowered. Flowers usually large, white or pinkish; pedicels usually short, ± thickened in fruit, erect or ascending. Sepals erect, inner saccate at base. Petals usually about twice as long as the sepals, long-clawed, linear to oblong-obovate. Stamens 6, filaments without appendages; anthers often linear, acute. Lateral nectar glands various, often in pairs, each semi-lunar, often fusing together, with or without basal process; middle glands absent. Ovary oblong, many ovuled; stigma bilobed, subsessile or sessile, lobes erect, rarely with lateral appendages. Siliquae often long, compressed with sub-convex valves, often subtorulose, bilocular, dehiscent; valves with a distinct mid-vein, ± pubescent, rarely glandular; septum not veined; seeds many, suborbicular, often narrowly winged.
Nearly 60 species, chiefly in the Mediterranean region and Asia, some in S. Africa; only 5 species (incl. 2 cult.) recorded from our area.