Perennial herbs or shrubs, caespitose. Stems usually unbranched. Leaves alternate, rarely opposite; leaf blade lanceolate, entire. Inflorescence terminal, capitate or spicate, with involucre; peduncle absent. Flowers bisexual, 4(-6)-merous. Calyx tube persistent, white, yellow, or light red, cylindric or funnel-shaped, contracted at apex of ovary; lobes 4(-6), spreading, subequal. Petaloid appendages absent. Stamens twice as many as calyx lobes, in two series, included. Disk at one side, acerose- or linear-scale, membranous, entire or 2-lobed. Ovary almost sessile, 1-loculed; style short; stigma capitate, ellipsoid, hirsute-papillose. Fruit dry, enclosed by persistent calyx; pericarp membranous.
Between ten and twelve species: C and E Asia; one species in China.