Herbs perennial, rarely annual. Stems usually from horizontal rhizomes, erect to decumbent, simple. Leaves cauline, alternate, also often in basal rosettes; leaf blade usually oblong, pinnately lobed, divided, or compound, glabrous to glandular-pubescent, often with a mephitic odor. Inflorescences paniculate, rarely capitate. Calyx campanulate, herbaceous throughout, papery in fruit. Corolla pink, violet, or blue, rarely white or yellow, actinomorphic, campanulate to funnelform. Stamens epipetalous at same level, included or exserted; filaments equal, basally puberulent. Ovary 3-locular. Stigma lobes 3, spreading. Capsule ovoid, rarely globose. Seeds brown to black, usually angular, 1-12 per locule.
"Cal herbaceous, somewhat accrescent and becoming chartaceous; cor tubular-funnelform or subsalverform to campanulate or nearly rotate; stamens about equally inserted; seeds 1–10 per locule, sometimes becoming mucilaginous when wet; perennial (1 sp. annual) herbs with alternate, pinnately compound or very deeply pinnatifid lvs, the fls in diverse sorts of basically cymose infls, mostly blue. 20, New World and Eurasia, esp. w. U.S."