Herbs, annual or perennial, usually short-lived, succulent, usually conspicuously papillate, glabrous. Roots fibrous. Stems prostrate to ascending. Leaves basal and cauline, alternate or opposite, sessile or petiolate; stipules absent; blade reddish with age, flat or terete, margins often undulate. Inflorescences terminal or axillary, flowers solitary or in cymes; bracts absent or 1-2, sessile or pedicellate. Flowers showy, 4-10[-20] mm diam., tubular; calyx lobes (4-) 5, 2 often leaflike; petals (including petaloid staminodia) 20-40[-150], distinct or connate into short tube, free, white, pink, or yellowish, linear; nectary glands 5; stamens 30[-120]; pistil (4-)5-carpellate; ovary half-inferior, (4-)5-loculed, convex; placentation axile; stigmas (4-)5, erect, filiform. Fruits capsules, persistent, valves (4-)5, with expanding interior keels when moistened, forming capsule lids when dried, dehiscence loculicidal. Seeds 100-200, black or dark [light] reddish brown [ochre or whitish], compressed [globose], often with 1 straight edge, 1 mm, smooth to rough with minute tubercles; arils absent.
|Iceplant [Greek mesembria, midday, and anthemum, blooming]|