3 orders - Caryophyllales (90%), Polygonales, Plumbaginales

14 families

11,000 species


Mostly herbs, many with C4 or Crassulacean Acid Metabolism - modification of photosynthesis thought to be adaptive to hot and dry climates

Most members produce betalains as floral pigments instead of anthocyanins, this in unique in angiosperms; exceptions to betalain production are Caryophyllaceae and Molluginaceae

Seeds have curved embryos that surround perisperm or endosperm