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Branched tap root system having nodules.
Aerial, weak stem and a twiner.
Imparipinnately compound, alternate, stipulate showing reticulate venation. Leaflets are stipellate. Petiole and stipel are pulvinated.
Axillary and solitary.
Bracteate, bracteolate, bracteoles usually large, pedicellate, dichlamydeous, complete, bisexual, pentamerous, zygomorphic and hypogynous.
Sepals 5, green, gamosepalous showing valvate aestivation. Odd sepal is anterior in position.
Petals 5, blue or white, polypetalous, irregular, papilionaceous corolla showing descendingly imbricate aestivation.
Stamens 10, diadelphous (9)+1, nine stamens fused to form a bundle and the tenth stamen is free, posterior and opposite to the standard petal. Anthers are dithecous, basifixed, introrse and dehiscing by longitudinal slits.
Ovary superior, stipitate and monocarpellary. Ovary unilocular with many ovules on marginal placentation. Style simple and incurved with feathery stigma.
Non-endospermous and kidney shaped.
Br., Brl., per, &+, K (5), C 5 , A (9) + 1, G 1
The seeds of Cajanus cajan (red gram), Vigna mungo (black gram), Vigna radiata (green gram), Vigna ungiculata (horse gram) and Cicer arietinum (chick pea) are rich in proteins and used as pulses.
The tender fruits of Lablab purpureus (field bean) and leaves of
Sesbania grandiflora (agathi) are used as vegetables and greens.
3. Oil plants
Oil extracted from the seeds of Arachis hypogea (ground nut) is used for cooking. Seeds are edible. Pongam oil obtained from the seeds of Pongamia pinnata (pongam) has medicinal value and is used in the preparation of soap.
4. Timber plants
Timber is obtained from Dalbergia latifolia (rose wood) andPterocarpus santalinus (red sandal wood) is used for making furniture, cabinet articles and other building materials.
5. Fibre plants
Fibres obtained from Crotalaria juncea (sunhemp) and Sesbania aegyptiaca (sesban) are used for making ropes.
6. Dye plants
The important blue dye, indigo obtained from Indigofera tinctoria (Avuri) is used in the colouring of printing ink and paints. Blue dye is also obtained from the flowers and seeds of Clitoria ternatea.
7. Ornamental plants
Butea frondosa (flame of the forest), Clitoria ternatea, Lathyrus odoratus (sweet pea) and Lupinus hirsutus are grown as ornamental plants.
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