Herbs, perennial or rarely annual. Roots thin, rarely tuberous. Leaves spirally arranged or 2-ranked; blade sessile. Inflorescences terminal and/or axillary, cyme pairs (often aggregated into larger spikelike or paniclelike units), cymes sessile, umbel-like, contracted, subtended by bracts; bracts inconspicuous, less than 1 cm; spathaceous bracts absent; bracteoles persistent. Flowers bisexual (bisexual and pistillate in C. repens), radially symmetric; pedicels very short or well developed; sepals distinct, subequal; petals distinct, white or pink to rose [rarely blue], equal, not clawed; stamens 6 or 0–3, all fertile, equal; filaments glabrous or bearded; ovary 2–3-locular, ovules [1–]2 per locule, 1-seriate. Capsules 2–3-valved, 2–3-locular. Seeds [1-]2 per locule; hilum punctiform; embryotega abaxial. x = 6–8.
se United States, tropical America, major center of distribution in Mexico.
Species ca. 20 (7 in the flora).
|1||Flowers white, filaments glabrous; plants creeping, or ascending and stoloniferous.||> 2|
|1||Flowers pink to rose, filaments bearded; plants erect to ascending, or creeping.||> 4|
|2||Robust, stoloniferous plants to 1 m; leaves oblong to lanceolate-oblong, 15–30 cm; flowers fragrant||Callisia fragrans|
|2||Weak, mat-forming plants; leaves lanceolate to ovate, 1–3.5 cm; flowers odorless.||> 3|
|3||Inflorescences sessile in distal leaf axils; flowers sessile or subsessile; petals inconspicuous; stamens 0–6; ovary and capsule 2-locular||Callisia repens|
|3||Inflorescences pedunculate; flowers distinctly pedicellate; petals conspicuous; stamens 6; ovary and capsule 3-locular||Callisia cordifolia|
|4||Plants creeping; leaves oblong-elliptic to lanceolate-oblong, 1–3.5 cm||Callisia micrantha|
|4||Plants erect to ascending; leaves linear, mainly 5–25 cm.||> 5|
|5||Distal leaf blades as wide as opened, flattened sheaths or wider, 0.4–1.5 cm wide||Callisia rosea|
|5||Distal leaf blades much narrower than opened, flattened sheaths, 0.1–0.5 mm wide.||> 6|
|6||Plants not cespitose or scarcely so; roots persistently woolly; bracts usually minute, scarious, 1–3(–7) mm||Callisia ornata|
|6||Plants cespitose; roots glabrous to sparsely puberulent; bracts often elongate, ± herbaceous, 2–14 mm||Callisia graminea|