Fls 4-merous; hypanthium tubular, usually about as long as the ovary, deciduous from the fr; sep reflexed; pet short-clawed, ephemeral, white, becoming pink or red, in most spp. ±unilaterally disposed; stamens 8, usually with a small scale internally at the base of each filament; sporogenous tissue divided into packets in each microsporangium; ovary initially 4-locular, with 1(2) ovules per locule, later ±unilocular by disintegration of the partitions; stigma 4-cleft; fr small, hard, indehiscent, 1-few-seeded; herbs with alternate, entire to toothed or in part lyrate lvs and long, terminal spikes or racemes of small fls. 20, N. Amer.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.