Armed or unarmed, mostly herbs or shrubs.
Stems sometimes with underground tubers. Leaves simple, petiolate or sessile,
usually alternate, entire, lobed or pinnatisect. Inflorescence axillary or
extra-axillary and leaf-opposed racemes or cymes. Flowers bracteate or
ebracteate, pedicellate or subsessile, bisexual, pentamerous. Sepals imbricate
or valvate, tubular, campanulate or urceolate. Petals rotate or tubular to funnel-shaped,
cup-shaped or salver-shaped, imbricate or valvate. Stamens epipetalous,
alternate with the corolla lobes. Ovary superior, bilocular, occasionally
becoming tetralocular by false septa. Fruit a berry, sometimes enclosed within
an inflated persistent calyx or a capsule.