Woody plants, mainly natives of Australia but also represented by scattered species in the W. Indies, Japan, China, Hawaiian Isls. and elsewhere; genera 5 and species about 90. Shrubs or trees, glandular or woolly; lvs. alternate or rarely opposite, simple, entire or rarely toothed; fls. bisexual, regular or irregular, axillary, solitary or fascicled, subsessile or pedicillate; calyx 5-parted or cleft, persistent; corolla gamopetalous, the limb 5-6-lobed, sometimes bilabiate; stamens 4, didynamous, the fifth represented by a staminode, epipetalous; ovary superior, 2-celled or falsely 3-10 celled; ovules usually 1-2, rarely 8 in a cell; style 1, stigmas 1-2; fr. drupaceous. Related to Scrophulariaceae and the Verbenaceae, the distinctive characters being the presence of oil-glands, the few ovules and the pendulous seeds. (Bailey 924).
Based upon DNA studies it is proposed to move the family Myoporaceae to family Scrophulariaceae.