Shrubs, shrublets, or perennial herbs, rarely annuals. Stipules distinct or connate, often persistent. Leaves opposite or sometimes alternate, simple or pinnate, often fleshy. Inflorescences axillary or terminal, solitary, racemose, or cymose. Flower bisexual, actinomorphic or zygomorphic. Sepals 4 or 5, imbricate or valvate. Petals 4 or 5, imbricate or valvate. Stamens 4 or 5 or up to 3 × as many as petals, with or without appendages. Ovary usually (2 or)3-5(-12)-locular. Fruit a drupe, capsule, or schizocarp, leathery or fragile.
Twenty-six genera and ca. 284 species: temperate, tropical, and subtropical areas of Africa, America, Asia, Australia, and Europe; three genera (one endemic) and 22 species (three endemic) in China.
Liou Yingxin. 1998. Zygophyllaceae (excluding Nitraria and Peganum). In: Xu Langran & Huang Chengchiu, eds., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 43(1): 116-145.