PLANT: Annuals, perennial herbs, or shrubs, pubescent, rarely glabrous. LEAVES: alternate to opposite, simple to compound; stipules absent. INFLORESCENCE: cymose, open to congested, the cymes usually arranged in panicles; flowers rarely solitary. FLOWERS: perfect, actinomorphic to zygomorphic, hypogynous; sepals usually 5, united, with equal to unequal lobes, the tube usually with herbaceous ribs separated by hyaline membranes that are distended or ruptured in fruit; corolla tubular, with 5 lobes; stamens usually 5, epipetalous, alternate with the corolla lobes, equally to unequally inserted; filaments equal to unequal in length; ovary usually with 3 locules; style simple, included to exserted, with (2-)3 stigmatic lobes. FRUIT: a capsule, rarely indehiscent or circumscissile, with 1-many ovules and seeds in each locule, the mature seeds in most taxa becoming gelatinous when wet. NOTES: ca 26 genera, ca 380 spp., chiefly of western N. Amer. but also in western S. Amer. and temperate Eurasia. Porter, J. M. and L. A. Johnson. Aliso 19: 55-91. 2000. REFERENCES: Dieter H. Wilken and J. Mark Porter, 2005, Vascular Plants of Arizona: Polemoniaceae. CANOTIA 1: 1-37.