A family of herbs and low shrubs that have fleshy, alternate, simple leaves, often with glandular hairs, and without stipules. The regular flowers are bisexual, solitary, and axillary. There are 5 fused and persistent sepals. The corolla is 5-lobed, blue, pink, or white, and unfolds from a pleated bud to form a bell or funnel shape. The stamens are unequal. The style is single with a lobed stigma. The superior ovary has 5 carpels, divided into many segments. The fruits are nutlets and the seeds contain a curved or spiral embryo, and endosperm. Some species are ornamentals. The family is related to the Solanaceae. There is 1 genus, comprising 18 species, represented on the west coast of S. America and the Galápagos, often as seashore plants.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.