• WordNet 3.6
    • n martynia sprawling annual or perennial herb of Central America and West Indies having creamy-white to red-purple bell-shaped flowers followed by unusual horned fruit
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n martynia A genus of dicotyledonous gamopetalous plants of the natural order Pedalineœ and the tribe Martynieæ. It is characterized by a partially bell-shaped bladder-like calyx, which is unequally 5-toothed or 5-parted, and by a corolla-tube spreading above. The fruit is a woody wrinkled capsule terminating in two long curved hooks or beaks. There are about 10 species, indigenous to South America and the warmer parts of North America. They are prostrate or suberect branching herbs, covered with clammy hairs, and bearing roundish long petiolate leaves and large rose-purple or pale-yellow flowers, which grow in short terminal racemes. From the form of the pod, Martynia has been designated unicorn-plant, especially M. proboscidea, which is also called elephant's-trunk. This coarse, heavy-scented species is wild in the Mississippi region as far north as Illinois, and is sometimes grown in gardens for the sake of its pods, which serve as a pickle. M. fragrans, from Mexico, is less stout and clammy, and is sometimes cultivated for its showy flowers, which are reddish or violet-purple, streaked with yellow, and exhale a fragrance like that of vanilla.
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In literature:

Daphne cannabina occurs here, as well as Loxotis obliqua, the Cardaminum, Plantago, and Martynia.
"Journals of Travels in Assam, Burma, Bhootan, Afghanistan and TheNeighbouring Countries" by William Griffith
Pour hot over the martynias, cover closely and keep in a cool place.
"Vaughan's Vegetable Cook Book (4th edition)" by Anonymous
A black splint is found in the cuticle of the martynia, or cat's claw, which grows profusely on the hill-sides.
"Picturesque Pala" by George Wharton James