Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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

FABACEAE

LEGUME FAMILY

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.

VICIA

VETCH

Duane Isely

Annual or perennial herb, unarmed
Stem generally sprawling or climbing, ridged or angled
Leaves even-1-pinnate; stipules with an upper (often toothed or lobed) and smaller lower segment; leaflets 4–many, alternate to opposite (often on 1 plant), linear to ovate; main leaf axis generally ending as a tendril
Inflorescence: raceme or cluster, axillary; peduncle or pedicels present; bracts small or 0
Flower: corolla generally lavender to purple, sometimes white or yellow; 9 filaments fused, 1 free; style generally round in X -section, hairs tufted at tip
Fruit dehiscent, generally ± oblong, generally flat; base stalk-like or not
Seeds 2 or more
Species in genus: ± 130 species: North America, Eurasia
Etymology: (Latin: vetch)
Reference: [Herman 1960 USDA Handb 168]
Best separated from Lathyrus by style characters.

Native

V. gigantea Hook.

Perennial, robust, glabrous or puberulent
Stem sprawling or climbing, 1–2 m
Leaf: stipules toothed or not; leaflets 16–24, 1.5–4 cm, elliptic or oblong, tip rounded to acute
Inflorescence generally < subtending leaf; flowers 6–15, crowded, generally on 1 side of axis
Flower: corolla 12–14 mm, red-purple or variegated to pale yellow
Fruit 2–4.5 cm, 1.2–1.3 cm wide, often upcurved, glabrous, black; stalk-like base 1–2 mm
Ecology: Coastal bluffs, beaches, woodlands, roadsides
Elevation: < 200 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast
Distribution outside California: to Alaska
Horticultural information: STBL.

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