Mostly annual or perennial herbs or subshrubs, generally with soft, fleshy, hairless parts, the stems often translucent. Leaves alternate, whorled or opposite, toothed; stipules absent or glandular. Flowers bisexual, markedly irregular, solitary or in clusters. Sepals 3(5), the lower one petal-like and with a honey spur. Petals 5, free or united. Stamens 5, united, the anthers united into a cap over the ovary.ovary superior. Carpels 4-5, united,with 3-many ovules per chamber with axile placentation. Fruit a berry-like drupe or a touch-sensitive, explosively dehiscent capsule with valves that twist on discharge.
Irregular flowers, the lower sepal spurred; petals unequal; stamens with flat filaments and anthers forming a cap over the ovary.
2 genera and about 1000 species.
Source: (2002). Balsaminaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.