Herbs mostly strong-scented and glandular-hirsute. Stipules 0. Flowers axillary, solitary, large, monopetalous, didynamous, 5-merous, irregular. Ovary 1 to 2-celled, of 2 carpels. Style 1. Stigma divided. Fruit becoming 4 or 6-celled by the diverging lobes of the 2 placentae. Seeds few or many, large, wingless.
Genera 14, species 25, natives of tropical America, etc. Some of them have been introduced into the United States.
PEDALINEae. Fruit drupe-like, fleshy without, produced into a beak................
SESAMEae. Fruit caspular, dry, dehiscent, never beaked.......................................
1. MARTYN'IA, L. Unicorn Plant. (In honor of John Martyn, botanical author and professor, Cambridge, Eng., 1760.) Calyx 5-cleft, 2 to 3-bracteolate at base ; cor. campanulate, tube gibbous at base, limb 5-lobed, unequal; sta. 5, one rudimentary and sterile, 4 didynamous; caps, coriaceous, ligneous, 4-celled, 2-valved, each valve terminating in a long, hooked beak.- Chiefly southern, branching, viscid-pilous. Lvs. opposite, petiolate, subcordate, roundish.
1 M. proboscidea Glox. Branches mostly decumbent; lvs. cordate, entire, sub-orbicular, villous, upper ones alternate; fls. on long, axillary peduncles; beaks much longer than the capsule.-A coarse, strong-scented plant, along rivers, fields, etc., S. and W. States. Stem 1-2f long. Leaves paler beneath. Corolla pale, dull yellow, very large, the limb nearly as broad as the leaves, spotted with brownish-purple. Sta. bright yellow, exserted. The curious pods are furnished with an incurved horn (2 when the valves separate) abruptly bent at the end into a very sharp grappling hook.
2 M. lutea Lindl. With yellow fls. and horns longer than the pod, is sometimes cultivated, also M. diandra, with pink fls. spotted with purple, and horns shorter than the pod.
2. SES'AMUM, L. Oil-seed. Calyx 5-partcd; corolla campanulate, 3-cleft, the lower lobes the longest; stamens 4, didynamous; stigma lanceolate; capsule 2-celled, the cells divided by the inflexed edges of the valves.- Of India. Lvs. petiolate, the lower opposite, upper alternate.
S. Indicum DC. Lvs. lanceolate-ovate, lower ones 3-lobcd, Tipper ones undivided serrate.-Native of E. India. Stem erect, about 18' high. Leaves alternate, entire. Flowers axillary, subsessile. Corolla pale purple. The seed3 yield an excellent oil which will keep several years without injury. It is used in cookery for all the purposes of sweet oil. Five pounds of the seeds yield about one pound of oil. The leaves are emollient