Common Name: LEGUME FAMILY
Habit: Annual to tree. Leaf: generally alternate, generally compound, generally stipuled, generally entire, pinnately veined Inflorescence: generally raceme, spike, umbel or head; or flowers 1--few in axils. Flower: generally bisexual, generally bilateral; hypanthium 0 or flat to tubular; sepals generally 5, generally fused; petals generally 5, free, fused, or lower 2 +- united into keel (see 3, Key to Groups, for banner, wings); stamens 10 or many (or , 5, 6, 7, 9), free or fused or 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, including a stalk-like base (above receptacle) or not. Seed: 1--many, often +- reniform, generally hard, smooth.
Genera In Family: +- 730 genera, 19400 species: worldwide; with grasses, requisite in agriculture, most natural ecosystems. Many cultivated, most importantly Arachis, peanut; Glycine, soybean; Phaseolus, beans; Medicago, alfalfa; Trifolium, clovers; many orns. Note: Unless stated otherwise, fruit length including stalk-like base, number of 2° leaflets is per 1° leaflet. Upper suture of fruit adaxial, lower abaxial. Anthyllis vulneraria L. evidently a waif, a contaminant of legume seed from Europe. Laburnum anagyroides Medik., collected on Mount St. Helena in 1987, may be naturalized. Ceratonia siliqua L., carob tree (Group 2), differs from Gleditsia triacanthos L. in having evergreen (vs deciduous) leaves that are 1-pinnate (vs 1-pinnate on spurs on old stems, 2-pinnate on new stems) with 2--5(8) (vs 7--17) 1° leaflets, commonly cultivated, now naturalized in southern California. Aeschynomene rudis Benth. , Halimodendron halodendron (Pall.) Voss (possibly extirpated), Lens culinaris Medik. are agricultural weeds. Caragana arborescens Lam. only cult. Ononis alopecuroides L. , Sphaerophysa salsula (Pall.) DC. all evidently extirpated. Cercidium moved to Parkinsonia; Chamaecytisus to Cytisus; Psoralidium lanceolatum to Ladeania.
eFlora Treatment Author: Martin F. Wojciechowski, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Martin F. Wojciechowski, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Habit: Shrub, tree, armed or not; generally evergreen. Leaf: even-2-pinnate or, if simple, true blades 0, petioles, main axes blade-like, with 1 prominent midvein or >= 2 generally prominent longitudinal veins; generally alternate, generally with a swollen, joint-like thickening at base that governs orientation, main axis with raised glands or not. Inflorescence: head, generally axillary, 1 or in raceme or panicle, or flowers in spike; staminate flowers often present. Flower: radial; sepals, petals 4--5, inconspicuous; stamens many, conspicuous, exserted, free; ovary simple. Fruit: generally dehiscent, occasionally tardily so, flat or +- cylindric. Seed: aril generally enlarged, forming cap or completely encircling seed.
Species In Genus: +- 960 species: tropics, subtropics, especially Australia. Etymology: (Greek: sharp point) Note: Recognition of Acacia, Senegalia (including Acacia greggii), Vachellia (including Acacia farnesiana) current consensus; many Australian species cultivated, including Acacia cultriformis G. Don, Acacia elata Benth., some naturalized, spreading in California.
eFlora Treatment Author: David Seigler & John E. Ebinger