Description from Flora of China
Herbs perennial, glabrous. Rhizome sympodial, robust. Stems (scapes) 1 to several, 1- or 2- or several leaved, rarely leafless. Basal leaves 2 or several, forming a rosette; stipules membranous; petiole usually long; leaf blade entire. Cauline leaves 1 to several or absent, often sessile and semiamplexicaul. Flower solitary, terminal; hypanthium free or fused with ovary proximally. Sepals 5, usually imbricate. Petals 5, imbricate, white or yellowish, rarely greenish, margin fimbriate, erose, or entire. Stamens 5, inserted opposite sepals, a few species with anther connective projected into a lanceolate appendage; staminodes 5, inserted opposite petals, terete and entire or flat and divided into lobes or filiform rays, apically somewhat glandular or with a distinct, globose gland. Pistil 1; ovary superior or semi-inferior, 1-loculed; placentation parietal; ovules numerous. Fruit a capsule, superior or semi-inferior, sometimes longitudinally angled, loculicidally dehiscent on abaxial suture into 3 or 4 valves. Seeds numerous, brown, obovoid or oblong, very small, 1-2 mm; testa thin, membranous, reticulate, smooth; endosperm thin or absent.
Also see Wu, Ding et al. 2009. Taxonomic notes on Parnassia sect. Saxifragastrum (Parnassiaceae) from China. Ann. Bot. Fennici 46: 559-565.
About 70 species: temperate regions of the N hemisphere, mainly in S and SE Asia; 63 species (49 endemic) in China.
(Authors: Gu Cuizhi (Ku Tsue-chih); Ulla-Maj Hultgård)