Perennial herbs, shrubs or trees. Stem often very reduced. Leaves rosulate, amplexicaul, fleshy, ovate to linear-lanceolate, glabrous, margin spiny-dentate, tip sharply pointed. Inflorescence pedunculate subterminal 1 or more axillary racemes. Bracts persistent. Flowers pedicellate, hermaphrodite. Tepals usually red, orange or yellow, outer 3 free or connate, inner 3 free from each other, sometimes adnate to the outer. Stamens 6, epiphyllous, exserted or equalling the perianth, anthers dorsifixed. Pistil tricarpellary, syncarpous, trilocular, placentation axile, style filiform, stigma small. Fruit loculicidal capsule, seeds many per locule.
About 400 species, in Africa (including Madagascar) and Arabia, naturalized in the Mediterranean region, Pakistan, India and China; represented in Pakistan by one species.