The Legume Family Fabaceae

The Legume Family, originally referred to as the Leguminosae, is the third largest of the approximately 300 families of flowering plants, with only the Sunflower and Orchid Families having more species. The 13,000 family members of the Fabaceae are cosmopolitan in distribution and include many important plants. The flowers range in symmetry from radial (regular) to bilateral (irregular). The irregular flowers have a boat-shaped keel composed of two fused petals that enclose the pistil, two wing petals, and a larger banner petal (Fig. 24.11). The stamens in such flowers are generally fused in the form of a tube around the ovary. The legume fruit is the common feature shared by all members of the family (see Fig. 8.16).

Stern-Jansky-Bidlack: Introductory Plant Biology, Ninth Edition

24. Flowering Plants and Civilization

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Flowering Plants and Civilization

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stamens (nine stamens are fused in a tube that surrounds the pistil; the tenth stamen is separate)

banner wing

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