General description:- Herbs with or without latex.

Leaves:- Usually spirally arranged, variously dissected.

Flowers:- Hermaphrodite, actinomorphic or zygomorphic, hypogynous. Sepals 2(3), caducous. Petals 4-6. Stamens 2, 4 or numerous, whorled. Ovary superior, 1-celled, 2-celled or imperfectly many-celled; carpels 2 to many.


General description:- Glabrous annuals to perennials.

Leaves:- Pinnate or ternate.

Flowers:- Zygomorphic. Inflorescences racemose. Bracts usually conspicuous. Sepals absent. Petals 4, the 2 inner similar, oblong, broadened and coherent at apex; the 2 outer dissimilar, the lower usually somewhat pouch-shaped (saccate) at the base, expanded into broad limb at apex, the upper with a distinct spur at the base and a more or less expanded limb at the apex. Style persistent; stigma flattened, with marginal papillae.

Fruit:- An oblong, 2-valved capsule with many seeds. Seeds with conspicuous aril.

Key features:-
1) Style persistent, green
2) Inflorescence racemose; bracts conspicuous.


General description:- Annuals with erect, diffuse or climbing stems.

Leaves:- Cauline, divided into 2- to 4 leaflets or lobes, the divisions extending almost to the midrib. (2-4-pinnatisect).

Flowers:- Inflorescence racemose, bracteate, with short stems (pedicels). Sepals 2, lateral. Corolla zygomorphic, consisting of a spurred upper petal, 2 inner petals, and a lower one.

Fruit:- 1-seeded, not splitting open to release the seed (indehiscent), showing 2 apical pits in the mesocarp when dry.

Key features:-
1) Upper petal spurred.
2) Stigma 2-lobed, with a small tooth between lobes.
3) Cauline leaves numerous.
4) Flowers in racemes.

In W. Europe mostly weeds of arable land, but in S. & E. Europe found also in rocky, sandy and grassy places.