Approximately 8,0 species of grassy leaved perennials from the temperate chmates of both hemispheres. They are tufted to clump or cushion-forming, mainly evergreen, with relatively insignificant six-tepalled flowers in congested to much-branched cymes.
Some of the dwarfest species, especially the cushion formers, are pleasing in a modest way, though essentially plantsmen's plants. They can be grown on the rock garden, peat bed, or in the alpine house, requiring moist but well drained, humus-rich soil, the tiny alpines being best in gritty peat with plenty of light. Propagation by seed or division in spring.