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Semi Technical Description of Fabaceae: Vegetative and Floral Characters, Description of Fruits and Seeds, Floral formula and Floral Diagram, Economic Importance, Practice Problems and FAQs

Semi Technical Description of Fabaceae: Vegetative and Floral Characters, Description of Fruits and Seeds, Floral formula and Floral Diagram, Economic Importance, Practice Problems and FAQs

You might have heard about the famous experiment by Johann Mendel. Yes, he is the father of Genetics. He performed lots of experiments on a particular plant. Let’s do an activity now. Try to find out the name of the fabulous plant on which Mendel did his research work.

Yes, you are right. It is the garden pea plant or Pisum sativum


                                    Fig: Pea flower

But do you have any idea about the plant family in which the pea plant belongs? Who are the other members of this particular plant family? What are the main characteristics of this particular plant family? The pea plant is an example of the family Fabaceae. It is the third largest family of angiosperms. It is also known as legume or bean family which is distributed all over the world. So let’s understand the qualities of the members of this family in detail in this article. 

Table of contents

Family Fabaceae - The pea family

Earlier this family was called Papilionoideae, a subfamily of the family Leguminosae. It is distributed all over the world. It belongs to the division Spermatophyta, sub-division Angiospermae, class Dicotyledonae and order Rosales. 

Vegetative Characters

Habitat

It is a terrestrial plant with an erect stem or a climber. 

Habit

It is of four types as follows: 

Herbs

Shrubs

Trees

Climbers

Fig: Licorice (Mulethi)

   Fig: Bush clover

   Fig: Caesalpinia

Fig: Pea plant

Description of the root and shoot system 

The following are the major characteristics of root system and shoot system in family Fabaceae:

Root System

Shoot System

Tap root system

Stems are either erect or weak. Weak stems climb using support.

 

  Fig: Tap root system

 

Fig: Stem

Leguminous - Root nodules present

Leaf

  • Leaf arrangement (phyllotaxy) is Alternate
  • Simple or pinnately compound leaves are present
  • Stipulate - They have stipules

Fig: Root nodules

 

  Fig: Parts of a leaf

Nodules have nitrogen fixers such as Rhizobium

Pulvinate: They possess a swollen leaf base (pulvinus)

 

  Fig: Pulvinus

 

Shows reticulate venation

 

Fig: Reticulate venation

 

Floral Characters

The following are the major floral characters of the family Fabaceae. 

Inflorescence

Racemose inflorescence with acropetal succession is seen in the Fabaceae family. It shows indefinite growth of the floral axis.