Herbs or shrubs, with coloured latex which is yellow (Argemone) or orange-brown (Bocconia). Stipules 0. Leaves alternate, deeply divided or lobed. Flowers actinomorphic, bisexual, usually hypogynous. Sepals 2-3, caducous. Petals 4-6, in two whorls of 2 or 3, free, falling off early. Stamens numerous. Ovary 1-locular with numerous ovules. Fruit a capsule dehiscing by valves or pores.