Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Annual to tree
Leaves generally compound, alternate, stipuled; leaflets generally entire
Inflorescence: generally raceme, spike, umbel or head; flowers sometime 1–2 in axils
Flowers generally bisexual, generally bilateral; hypanthium generally flat or cup-like; sepals generally 5, fused; petals generally 5, free, or the 2 lower ± fused; stamens 1–many, often 10 with 9 filaments at least partly fused, 1 (uppermost) free; pistil 1, ovary superior, generally 1-chambered, ovules 1–many, style, stigma 1
Fruit: legume, sometimes including a stalk-like base above receptacle, dehiscent, or indehiscent and breaking into 1-seeded segments, or indehiscent, 1-seeded, and achene-like
Seeds 1–several, often ± reniform, generally hard, smooth
Genera in family: ± 650 genera, 18,000 species: worldwide; with grasses, requisite in agriculture and most natural ecosystems. Many cultivated, most importantly Arachis , peanut; Glycine , soybean; Phaseolus , beans; Medicago ; Trifolium ; and many orns
Reference: [Polhill & Raven (eds) 1981 Advances in legume systematics; Allen & Allen 1981 Leguminosae]
Family description and key to genera by Duane Isely.



Duane Isely

Perennial, unarmed or ± prickly on axes, fruit, sometimes glandular-hairy
Leaves odd-1-pinnate; stipules deciduous; leaflets gland-dotted
Inflorescence: raceme, spike-like, axillary
Flower: calyx lobes unequal, < or ± = tube; corolla white-yellow to blue; 9 filaments fused, 0 or 1 free
Fruit indehiscent, ellipsoid, prickly or rarely glabrous
Species in genus: ± 20 species: especially Eurasia
Etymology: (Greek: sweet root)
Several species cultivated.


G. glabra L.


Plant ± glabrous or finely hairy, ± glandular or not
Leaf: leaflets 9–13, widely ovate or elliptic
Inflorescence open
Flower: corolla 9–11 mm, bluish to purple
Fruit 12–25 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=16
Ecology: Sporadic. Waste areas
Elevation: especially < 500 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province
Distribution outside California: occasional US; native to Eurasia
Licorice of commerce obtained from roots.

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