Stellately hairy shrubs or undershrubs, occasionally annual or perennial herbs. Leaves alternate, petiolate, mostly palmately 3-5-lobed or unlobed, serrate, the basal serrations mostly glandular; stipules persistent or rarely fugaceous. Inflorescence axillary or antiphyllous, dense fascicles of 3-flowered dichasia. Flowers bisexual or female, pedicellate, pentamerous. Sepals 5, free, usually dorsally hooded, awned at the apex, valvate. Petals 5, rarely absent, mostly ciliate and pitted glandular at the base, imbricate. Stamens 5-many, free, inserted on the glandular androphore, anthers dehiscing lengthwise. Carpels 2-5, syncarpous; ovary ovoid-ellipsoid or orbicular, usually with uncinate hairs, 2-5-loculed, each locule 2-ovuled; style filiform, stigma 2-5-lobed. Capsule indehiscent or loculicidally dehiscent, subglobose-globose, covered with uncinate spines, 2-5-loculed, locules 1 or 2-seeded. Seeds ovoid-obovoid, endospermous.
About 150 species; widely distributed in the tropics and subtropics.