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Chapter: Introduction to Botany: The Origin of Flowering

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Leguminosae, or Fabaceae - legume family

Leguminosae, or Fabaceae - legume family
Belong to rosids (Rosidae). Up to 17,000 species, third largest angiosperm family after Compositae (aster family) and Orchidaceae (orchids). Widely distributed throughout the world, but preferably in tropics.

Leguminosae, or Fabaceae - legume family

 

Belong to rosids (Rosidae). Up to 17,000 species, third largest angiosperm family after Compositae (aster family) and Orchidaceae (orchids). Widely distributed throughout the world, but preferably in tropics. Have root nodules with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Leaves alternate, pinnately compound (once or twice), with stipules.

 

Three subfamilies (Caesalpinioideae, Mimosoideae, Papilionoideae) often treated as separate families. Sepals 5, united. Petals 5, in Papilionoideae they are free, unequal and have special names: banner, keel and wing (Fig. 8.19), in Mimosoideae they fuse and form tube. Stamens often 10 with 9 fused and one free stamen; in Mimosoideae, stamens are numerous. Singe pistil with single carpel. Flower formula of Mimosoideae is

 


Papilionoid legumes have formula like



 

Fruit is a legume (pod): dehiscent with one camera. Mature seeds without endosperm. 

 

Representatives of Leguminosae:

 

                  Mimosoideae: stamens numerous, petals connected

 

Acacia—dominant tree of African and Australian savannas, often withphyllodes

 

Mimosa—sensitive plant

 

                  Papilionoideae: stamens 9+1, petals free; this subfamily contains many extremely important food plants with high protein value

 

Glycine—soybean

 

Arachis—peanut with self-buried fruits

 

Phaseolus—bean

 

Pisum—pea

 

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