Habit and leaf form. Herbs. Annual; plants with neither basal nor terminal concentrations of leaves; to 0.6 m high. Helophytic, or mesophytic, or xerophytic. Leaves medium-sized; opposite, or alternate and opposite (then alternate above); when alternate spiral, or four-ranked; ‘herbaceous’, or leathery, or membranous; petiolate to sessile; gland-dotted, or not gland-dotted; simple; epulvinate. Leaf blades entire; linear, or ovate, or elliptic; pinnately veined. Mature leaf blades adaxially scabrous, or pubescent, or villous; abaxially scabrous, or pubescent, or villous. Leaves without stipules. Leaf blade margins entire. Leaves without a persistent basal meristem. Leaf anatomy. Hydathodes present (occasionally), or absent. Hairs present, or absent; glandular hairs present, or absent. Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring.
Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite. Entomophilous.
Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in racemes. The terminal inflorescence unit cymose, or racemose. Inflorescences terminal; spike-like. Flowers pedicellate to subsessile; bracteate; ebracteolate; small to medium-sized; very irregular; zygomorphic; 5 merous; tetracyclic. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk present. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 10; 2 -whorled; isomerous. Calyx present; 5; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous; lobed. Calyx lobes markedly longer than the tube. Calyx imbricate, or valvate; unequal but not bilabiate (lobes unequal); persistent; with the median member posterior. Calyx lobes ovate, or linear. Corolla present; 5; 1 -whorled; gamopetalous; lobed; imbricate, or valvate; bilabiate; plain, or with contrasting markings; white, or red, or pink, or purple, or violet. Androecium 4. Androecial members adnate (to the corolla); markedly unequal; free of one another; 1 -whorled. Stamens 4; remaining included; didynamous; reduced in number relative to the adjacent perianth; oppositisepalous. Anthers dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse; unilocular, or bilocular; tetrasporangiate. Gynoecium 2 carpelled. The pistil 2 celled. Gynoecium non-petaloid; syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; superior. Ovary plurilocular; 2 locular. Gynoecium median; stylate. Styles 1; attenuate from the ovary, or from a depression at the top of the ovary; apical. Stigmas 1; 1–2 - lobed; capitate. Placentation axile, or apical. Ovules 50 per locule (to ‘many’); pendulous to ascending; non-arillate; anatropous, or campylotropous, or hemianatropous.
Fruit and seed features. Fruit non-fleshy; hairy; not spinose; dehiscent; a capsule (the upper cell indehiscent or opening by a single apical pore). Capsules poricidal (lower cell dehiscing by 2 apical, dentate pores). Fruit 2 celled (cells unequal); 50 seeded (to ‘many’). Seeds endospermic. Endosperm oily. Seeds minute to small; narrowly winged, or wingless. Cotyledons 2. Embryo straight to curved.
Special features. Corolla tube not exceeding the calyx. The upper lip of the corolla incorporating 2 members, the lower 3; (posterior, adaxial) lip of the corolla bilobed. Lower (abaxial) lip of the corolla 3 lobed (gibbous at the base, the throat closed by a palate).
Geography, cytology, number of species. Adventive. Australian states and territories: Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria. South-West Botanical Province.
Etymology. From the Greek misopathes; name used by Dioscorides for several plants.