One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A genus of the family Pedaliaceae, consisting of sticky-haired plants, native to warm and tropical parts of America, with two-lipped flowers and long-beaked pods which can be pickled; (also martynia) a plant of this genus, especially Martynia annua, native to Mexico (also called unicorn plant).
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Chambers's Cyclopaedia. From scientific Latin Martynia (J. Martyn Historiae Plantarum Rariorum, adopted from earlier use by W. Houstoun) from the name of John Martyn, English botanist, apothecary, and miscellaneous writer + -ia.
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