The Aizoaceae have a worldwide distribution throughout the tropics and subtropics (Hartmann 2001a,b). However, the centres of diversity are in the south-western part of Africa (Bittrich 1986; Jürgens 1986; Hartmann 1991). Relatively few genera occur outside of southern Africa, mainly those from subfamilies Aizooideae, Sesuvioideae and Tetragonioideae. In contrast, Mesembryanthemoideae and Ruschioideae are largely restricted to southern Africa with few species found outside of this area (e.g. Mesembryanthemum crystallinum L., M. nodiflorum L., Carpobrotus spp., Disphyma spp., Sarcozona spp., Delosperma spp.) (Hartmann 2001a,b). The family consists predominantly of succulent (mostly leaf succulent), annual to perennial herbs, subshrubs or shrubs, with undifferentiated perianth or biseriate with petals of staminodial origin, with mostly hygrochastic loculicidal fruits.
Aizoaceae , Tekhno-Bot. Slovar: 15. 1820 sec. APG III (2009)
- Type: Aizoon