This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Perennial or biennial glandular-pubescent herbs, exuding a copious viscid secretion, mostly with basal leaves circinate in the bud, and fugacious perfect flowers, racemose in our species. Calyx persistent, 4-5-parted or the sepals distinct and imbricated. Petals 5, hypogynous, convolute, marcescent, distinct or slightly united at the base. Stamens 4-20, hypogynous or perigynous; filaments subulate or filiform; anthers usually versatile. Disk none. Ovary free, or its base adnate to the calyx, globose or ovoid, 1-3-celled; styles 1-5, simple, 2-cleft or multifid; ovules numerous. Capsule 1-5-celled, loculicidally dehiscent. Seeds several or numerous; anatropous; endosperm fleshy; embryo straight, cylindric.
Four genera and about 90 species, of wide geographic distribution.