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

Annual or perennial herb, unarmed, glabrous or hairy, rarely glandular, generally rhizomed
Stem sprawling, climbing, or erect; stem angled, flanged, or winged
Leaves even-1-pinnate; stipules persistent, upper lobe > lower; main axis ending as a tendril or short bristle; leaflets 0–16, ± opposite or alternate, linear to widely ovate
Inflorescence: raceme, generally axillary, 1–many-flowered
Flower: upper calyx lobes generally < and wider than lower; corolla 8–30 mm, pink-purple or pale, sometimes white or yellow; 9 filaments fused, 1 free; style flat, finely hairy on concave side
Fruit dehiscent, oblong, ± flat
Species in genus: ± 150 species: temp North America, Eurasia
Etymology: (Ancient Greek name)
Reference: [Broich 1987 Syst Bot 12:139–153]
Some species variable, intergrading with others; some hybridization probable. Seeds of most alien species. TOXIC to humans (especially young males) and livestock (especially horses).

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