Herbs perennial, glabrous, with fibrous roots. Stems simple or several branched. Leaves basal, or both basal and cauline, sometimes distal cauline ones palmately lobed, orbicular, reniform, or ovate, base cordate, margin dentate or entire; petioles sheathed at base. Flower solitary, terminal, or 2 or more in a simple or complex monochasium opening nearly flat. Sepals 5 or more, petaloid, yellow, rarely white or red, obovate or elliptic, caducous. Petals absent. Stamens numerous; anthers elliptic to oblong; filaments linear. Follicles 5--40, sessile, sometimes stipitate, with branching transverse veins, styles distinct or nearly absent; ovules several to many. Seeds several in a follicle, ellipsoid-globose, smooth.
About 15 species: temperate and cold-temperate regions of N and S hemispheres; four species (one endemic) in China.