Large family, with 418 genera and some 3,250 species, distributed throughout the world, generally herbaceous (annual, biennial or perennial) sometimes suffruticose and even shrubby. Economically important, with plants used for food, medicine and aromatics; but also with some toxic and poisonous species. Of the nearly 60 genera present in North Africa, 2 have woody and somewhat shrubby species.

Key to genera

1 Leaves divided, filiform or squamiform, not clearly visible, both because they are small and for being promptly deciduous. Petals white or greenish Deverra

1 Leaves entire, ± lanceolate, clearly visible. Flowers with yellow petals Bupleurum

Updated by: M. Cueto, E. Giménez & J. Charco.