This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(from a fancied resemblance of the pod to a skull or cranium). Martyniaceae. Coarse but interesting flower-garden annual.
Wide-spreading low viscid-hairy rank forking herb: leaves large, opposite, long-petioled, broadly cordate, reniform or palmately lobed: flowers white, racemed; calyx 3-5-lobed, more or less inflated; corolla very long-tubed, the tube slender and cylindrical, campanulate at the throat, more or less 2-lipped, the 5 lobes rounded and somewhat undulate, the anterior largest; perfect stamens 4, didynamous, affixed at or near the throat; ovary 1-celled: fruit a 2-valved caps, with a long incurved beak, many-seeded. - Two species, Venezuela to Paraguay. Usually confused with Martynia, from which it is distinguished readily by having 4 rather than 2 fertile stamens and by the very long and slender corollatube which widens at the throat; the closely related Proboscidea has a much broader tube widening nearly from the base.
Linn. (Martynia Craniolaria, Glox.). Two feet high: leaves palmately lobed, the margins dentate: calyx 2-bracted, cut down one side, about one-third the length of the slender straightish corolla-tube; lobes of corolla rounded and not much undulate; style 2-lobed, equaling or slightly exceeding the 2 pairs of stamens. N. S. Amer. - The thick fleshy root is preserved in sugar as a comfit; plant known as "Creole scorzonera" in S. Amer. There appears to be confusion in the seed sold as Martynia Craniolaria; some of it may be M. Louisiana or other species. L. H. B.