Description from Flora of China
Herbs annual or sometimes perennial, bristly, hispid or appressed pubescent throughout. Stem erect, much branched, ridged, leafy throughout. Leaf blade 1–2-pinnate or pinnately decompound; ultimate segments lanceolate to oblong, densely toothed to deeply lobed, both surfaces strigose with appressed hairs. Umbels loosely compound or capitate, terminal and/or lateral; bracts few or absent; rays 2–12, spreading-ascending, or umbellules sessile; bracteoles 2–8, linear or subulate. Calyx teeth small, triangular to acute-lanceolate. Petals white or purplish red, obovate, with a narrow inflexed apex, appressed-strigose on abaxial surface. Stylopodium thick, conic; styles short. Fruit round-ovoid or oblong, flattened laterally; primary ribs filiform, setulose, lateral ribs displaced onto the commissural surface; secondary ribs hidden by dense, upwardly hooked spines (Chinese taxa) which occupy the entire interval; vittae 1 under the secondary ribs, 2 on commissure. Seed flattened dorsally in cross section, face concave. Carpophore bifid at apex, cleft for 1/3–1/2 of its length.
“Torilis taihasenzanensis” (Masamune, J. Soc. Trop. Agric. 6: 570. 1934) was described from Taiwan, but the apparent assignment to Torilis was a typographic error for Trollius (Ranunculaceae), as was indicated on an errata slip inserted between pages 4 and 5 of the volume. The correct name is Trollius taihasenzanensis Masamune (see Fl. China 6: 141. 2001).
About 20 species: Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, Pacific Islands (New Zealand); two species in China.
(Authors: She Menglan (佘孟兰 Sheh Meng-lan); Mark F. Watson)