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A diagnostic description of the family is given with special emphasis on the occurrence of succulence. This is followed by information on the ordinal placement, a selection of important literature, and information on the geographical distribution. A short discussion of the family’s position in the angiosperm phylogeny is supplemened by a summary of its past and present classification in a phylogenetic context. The succulent features present amongst the species of the family are shortly summarized, as is its general economical importance. Finally, a dichotomous key to the genera with succulent species is given.
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