Martyniaceae is a small family that is restricted to the New World and counts five genera and 13-16 species (Mabberley 2008, Gutierrez 2011). It is closely similar to Pedaliaceae, a family from the Old World, and both have been combined as a single family in the past (Gutierrez 2011). However, molecular data showed their distinctiveness (APG IV 2016). It is usually found in tropical and warm-temperate regions. Some species are weedy or are grown as ornamentals (e.g. Knees 2000, Jäger & al. 2008) and now occur beyond their original distribution range. A few have been recorded in Belgium as well.
Based on molecular data, Gutierrez (2011) showed that two clades in the family are discernable: a North American one containing, among others, Proboscidea and a South American one with e.g. Ibicella.
Gutierrez (2011) made a thorough study of the Martyniaceae and his PhD thesis provides a monograph of the entire family.
Further useful information of the family is available from Wayne’s World at:

1 Corolla yellow. Sepals free. Fruit bristly throughout === Ibicella
Corolla white, cream or pinkish, often blotched with purple. Sepals connate. Fruit crested above only === Proboscidea


APG IV (2016) An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG IV. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. [available online at:]
Gutierrez R. (2011) A Phylogenetic Study of the Plant Family Martyniaceae (Order Lamiales). PhD thesis, Arizona State University. [available online at:
Jäger E.J., Ebel F., Hanelt P. & Müller G. (eds.) (2008) Rothmaler Band 5. Exkursionsflora von Deutschland. Krautige Zier- und Nutzpflanzen. Springer Verlag, Berlin: 880 p.
Knees S.G. (2000) Martyniaceae. In: Cullen J. & al. (eds.), The European Garden Flora, vol. 6. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 371-372.
Lawrence G.H.M. (1957) Proboscidea and other unicorn plants (Martyniaceae). Baileya 5: 126-132.
Mabberley D.J. (2008) Mabberley’s plant-book (3th ed.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: XVIII + 1021 p.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith