Caryophyllus, from the Greek karyon nut or fruit and phyllon leaf, possibly referring to the swollen nodes being hard and ‘nut-like’. Mainly herbs with swollen nodes, leaves opposite and decussate rarely alternate, interpetiolar stipules usually present and scarious. Flowers 4-5 merous; carpels 2-5, ovary inferior, number of styles equal to number of carpels. Fruit chiefly a capsule.