Description from Flora of China
Shrubs much branched; woody branches with spines or not, herbaceous branchlets of current year with leaves and flowers. Leaves simple, alternate, rarely fascicled, nearly sessile; ocrea membranous, usually with 2 veins, 2-parted at apex. Inflorescence racemose, terminal, or lateral, with dense or sparse axillary flowers. Pedicel slender, jointed. Flowers hermaphroditic. Perianth persistent, 4- or 5-parted, inflated in fruit. Stamens 6 or 8; filaments dilated at base and united into a glandular ring. Ovary lenticularly compressed or trigonous; styles 2 or 3, short; stigmas capitate. Achenes lenticular or trigonous.
The reader can refer to Borodina (Rast. Tsentral. Azii 9: 93–97. 1989) for taxa in adjacent Central Asian countries.
About 25 species: N Africa, C, N, and SW Asia, S Europe; 12 species (two endemic) in China.
(Authors: Bao Bojian (包伯坚); Alisa E. Grabovskaya-Borodina)