Low herbs, erect or prostrate, with opposite mostly stipulate entire leaves, and small, perfect flowers in cymes. Sepals 4 or 5, distinct, or partly united, white or greenish, persistent. Petals none. Stamens 1-10, usually 4 or 5, borne at the base of the ovary, or rarely on the calyx-tube (hypanthium); filaments slender; anthers 2-celled, short. Ovary sessile, I-celled; styles mostly 2, more or less united, often short; ovule solitary, amphitropous. Fruit an achene or utricle, I-seeded. Endosperm nearly enclosing the embryo.

About 18 genera and 100 species of wide geographic distribution. Leaves stipulate.

Sepals awn-tipped; calyx sessile.

1.

Paronychia.

Sepals not awned; calyx pedicelled.

Styles long; sepals cuspidate; radicle ascending.

2.

Anychiastrum.

Styles very short or wanting; sepals mucronate; radicle descending.

3.

Anychia.

Leaves not stipulate.

4.

Scleranthus.