Species in the Diapensiaceae are evergreen herbs or small shrubs with leaves that may be opposite or alternate, or may grow as a basal rosette. The margins of the leaves are untoothed or toothed. The flowers are white to pink, actinomorphic (radially symmetrical) and have both pollen-bearing and ovule-bearing parts. The flowers are arranged in a spike or may grow singly and have 5 sepals and 5 petals. The sepals may be distinct from each other or fused at the base into a tube or bell shape; the petals show the same growth form. Both attach below the ovary (i.e., the ovary is superior). The stamens are partially fused to the petals, and there are either 5 separate stamens or 10 fused together, in which case only 5 are fertile and produce pollen. The fruit is a capsule that splits open to release the seeds.
This Family’s Genera in New England:
Visit this family in the Dichotomous Key