Annual or perennial herbs, often strongly smelling, frequently clothed with glandular or mucigenous hairs (the latter consisting of a very shortly stalked 4-lobed knob becoming slimy when wetted). Leaves opposite or the upper spirally arranged, exstipulate, petioled, simple or the lower 3-partite or palmately 3-foliolate. Flowers ♀, either solitary in leaf-axils (often between 2 glands), or in terminal racemes, nodding, zygomorphic. Calyx deeply 5-partite. Corolla much exceeding the calyx, gamopetalous, mostly very oblique; tube widened upwards; lobes 5, in bud imbricate, the anterior one much the largest. Stamens inserted near base of corolla, included, either 2 (anterior ones) perfect with 3 staminodes or 4 perfect, didynamous, with or without 1 posticous staminode; anthers free or cohering in pairs. 2-celled; connective often gland-tipped; cells parallel or widely diverging, opening lengthwise. Disk hypogynous, fleshy. Ovary superior, either 1-celled with 2 opposite parietal deeply intruded, T-shaped placentas touching in the middle and consequently spuriously 4-celled, or 2—4-celled and then the cells often halved by a parietal radial spurious dissepiment. Ovule either 1 in each compartment, or numerous and superposed. Style long; stigma 2—4-lamellate. Drupe or capsule; cells 1- of more-seeded. No endosperm; cotyledons flat. Distr. About 60 spp. belonging to 3 genera ( Martyniaceae proper) in the tropics and subtropics of America and to ± 15 in the Old World which, the Australian Josephinia excepted, are confined to or centering in Africa; many genera are monotypic. Some spp. are now ubiquitous weeds having escaped from cultivation. Of the genera treated here only Josephinia is native to Malaysia.