A large family, widely distributed, most abundant in America; herbs, with no stipules; flowers usually perfect, their parts usually in fours; calyx-tube attached to the usually four-celled, inferior ovary and usually prolonged beyond it; stamens four or eight, inserted with the petals, on the throat of the calyx-tube, or on a disk; style single with a four-lobed or round-headed stigma; fruit usually a four-celled capsule, containing small seeds or a nut. The flowers are generally showy and many are cultivated.