To study the morphological characters of legumes
Leguminoseae is also known as the pea family. It is also called Fabaceae. Plants are commonly known as legumes. They are widely distributed throughout the world. It is the third largest plant family with more than 20000 species in 765 genera. These include herbs, shrubs, and trees.
1. Vegetative Character
Habit: They are herbs, shrubs, or trees.
Roots: The root contains root nodules, which is the distinguishing feature of legumes. Symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria are present in the root nodules.
Stem: The stem is woody, erect, or herbaceous. They are also climbers.
Leaves: Leaves are alternate and simple or compound. Compound leaves are pinnately compound.
Leaves are stipulate and have swollen (pulvinate) leaf bases. They have reticulate venation.
2. Floral Characters
Inflorescence: The inflorescence is a racemose type, i.e. the main axis does not end in the flower and continues to grow indefinitely.
Flowers: Flowers are generally zygomorphic, i.e. having only one vertical plane of symmetry (bilateral symmetry).
Flowers are generally bisexual or hermaphrodite, i.e. they have both male and female reproductive parts in the same flower.
Flowers are pentamerous (5 floral appendages) and hypogynous, i.e. with a superior ovary.
Sepals: Sepals are five in number and joint, i.e. gamosepalous. The arrangement of sepals (aestivation) is valvate or imbricate.
Petals: Petals are five in number and are free, i.e. polypetalous with vexillary aestivation. They are called papilionaceous.
Androecium: Stamens are diadelphous, i.e. united and found in the bundle of two. They are ten in number. Anthers have two compartments, i.e. dithecous.
Gynoecium: The gynoecium or the female reproductive part, comprises only one carpel, i.e. monocarpellary. The ovary is superior, unilocular, and has multiple ovules.
Fruit and Seed: The fruit is a legume, the distinguishing feature of the Leguminosae family. Seeds are non-endospermic.
Floral Formula:- % ⚥ K(5) C1+2+(2) A(9)+1 G1
- Commercial Fruits. By S. P. Singh
- A text book on Pomology, Vol,1. by T. K. Chattapadhya
- Tropical Horticulture, Vol.1, by T. K. Bose, S. K. Mitra, A. A. Farooqui and M. K. Sadhu