A family of small shrubs in which the leaves are simple, often narrow, opposite or alternate, and without stipules. Occasionally the shrubs are glandular and have winged stems. The flowers are often very brightly coloured, usually red or purple. They are regular, bisexual, solitary, and axillary, with 3–5 sepals and petals. There are twice as many stamens as petals. The ovary is superior, of 2 fused carpels with a single style. The fruit is a capsule which splits open along the locule partitions. The seeds contain copious endosperm and are occasionally hairy. The family is related to the Pittosporaceae and Polygonaceae. Some species are cultivated as ornamentals. There are 3 genera, with 43 species, within the family, all of them confined to Australia, especially the south-west.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.