Description from Flora of China
Herbs annual, biennial, or perennial, erect or sprawling; pubescence of simple glandular hairs. Leaves sometimes forming a rosette, short petiolate or sessile; leaf blade sinuate, coarsely dentate or pinnately lobed, rarely entire. Inflorescences of solitary axillary flowers, sometimes condensed into scorpioid racemes or spikes. Flowers 5-merous, zygomorphic, sessile or short pedicellate. Calyx tubular-campanulate, urceolate, or obconical, becoming enlarged, lobes erect or spreading, needlelike. Corolla campanulate or funnelform, lobes unequal. Stamens inserted in corolla tube, usually slightly exserted; anthers dehiscing longitudinally. Disc sometimes indistinct. Ovary 2-locular; ovules numerous. Fruiting calyx enveloping and longer than capsule, lobes with strong marginal veins produced into mucros. Capsules dehiscent by an operculum slightly distal to middle. Seeds reniform or discoid, minutely pitted; embryo ringlike or coiled.
About 20 species: N Africa, Asia, Europe; two species in China, also cultivated.