This is one of the largest family of dicotyledon which includes about 600 genera and 13000 species.The members are found in all possible habitats of trophics, sub-trophics and temperate regions of the world. Depending on the characters of corolla and androecium, this family is divided into 3 subfamilies;
Common name: Papilionaceae
The family includes about 482 genera and 7200 species. The members are cosmopolitan in distribution. Thus, they are found in diverse habitats of trophics, sub-trophics temperate and even sub-alpine regions. Many of the vegetables and pulses plants are included in this family. Thus is considered as the economically important family.
Annual, biennial or perennial herbs (Pisum, Vicia), undershrubs(Crotolaria alba), Shrubs(Cajanus), trees(Dalbergia, Pterocarpus) or climbers(Lathyrus), mostly terrestrial, sometimes aquatic.
Well established branched taproot system inhabited by nitrogen-fixing Rhizobium bacteria forming root nodules to increase the fertility of the soil.
Aerial, sometimes submerged, erect or creeping or climbing the support with distinct nodes and internodes branched, herbaceous or woody, cylindrical or angular or flattened, solid or fistular, pubescent or glabrous.
Cauline and ramal, stipulate, sometimes ex-stipulate. Stipules are foliaceous(large leaf-like)(Pisum), Alternate, sometimes opposite or whorled, small or pinnately compound or palmately compound, in pinnately compound leaf upper leaflets may be modified into leaf tendrils(Lathyrus, Pisum), unicostate or multicostate reticulate venation.
Racemose, terminal or axillary raceme (Pisum) or spike(Urania) or panicle (branched raceme or spike)(Dalbergia), sometimes solitary also.
Bracteate, rarely ebracteate, pedicellate or sessile, complete, bisexual, zygomorphic, hypogynous, pentamerous, papilionaceae.
Sepals(5), gamosepalous, unequal size, valvate aestivation, sometimes imbricate, odd sepal anterior, persistent inferior.
Petals1+2+(2), 3 polypetalous, 2 gamopetalous, vexillary aestivation(presence of five unequal sized petals posterior largest petal known as vexillum or standard, partially overlap 2 lateral medium sized petals known as wings or alae which overlap 2 anterior smallest fused petals known as keels or carina, inferior.
Stamens 10, diadelphous either 1+ (9) in Pisum sativum or (5)+(5) in Smithiana or sometimes monadelphous either(9) in Dalbergia or (10)in Arachis hypogea, rarely polyandrous(sophora), anthers dithecous, basifixed or dorsifixed, introrse, inferior.
Carpel1, monocarpellary, ovary superior, unilocular with many ovules in marginal placentation, ovary elongated somewhat flattened, style simple or bent, stigma normally simple.
Br % K((5) C1+2+(2) A(10)
Vegetables and Pulses
Cajanus cajan (Pigeon pea)
Pisum sativum (Pea)
Vicia faba (Broad bean)
Cicer arietinum (Gram)
Phaseolus aureus (Green gram)
Arachis hypogea (Groundnut)
Glycine man (Soybean)
Dalbergia sissoo (Sissow)
Pterocarpus marsupium (Indian kino tree)
Lathyrus Odoratus (Garden pea)
Saphora japonica (Japanese pagoda tree)