Legume (Family Leguminosae)
Fabaceae or Leguminosae is a large and economically important family
of flowering plants, which is commonly known as the legume family,
pea family, bean family or pulse family. The name 'Fabaceae' comes
from the defunct genus Faba, now included into Vicia. Leguminosae is
an older name still considered valid, and refers to the typical fruit of
these plants, which are called legumes.
Leguminosae is the third largest family of flowering plants, behind
Orchidaceae and Asteraceae, with 730 genera and over 19,400 species,
according to the Royal Botanical Gardens. The largest genera are
Astragalus with more than 2,000 species, Acacia with more than 900
species, and Indigofera with around 700 species. Other large genera
include Crotalaria with 600 species and Mimosa with 500 species.
The species of this family are found throughout the world, growing in
many different environments and climates. A number are important
agricultural plants, including: Glycine max (soybean), Phaseolus
(beans), Pisum sativum (pea), Cicer arietinum (chickpeas), Medicago
sativa (alfalfa), Arachis hypogaea (peanut), Ceratonia siliqua (carob),
and Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice), which are among the best known
members of Leguminosae. A number of species are also weedy pests
in different parts of the world, including: Cytisus scoparius (broom)
and Pueraria lobata (kudzu), and a number of Lupinus species.
Crooked Run Valley