Pea family plants characteristics
Photo of Spartium junceum L.
The pea family –Fabaceae, Leguminosae or Papilionaceae– has about 19.400 species of plants growing mainly in the temperate regions.
The most common species are herbs, but some of them are shrubs and trees, too.
|Leaves (1): composite, seldom single, with very conspicuous stipules. (2) in many cases ending in tendrils or filaments (3). Sometimes leaves are reduced to spines.||
|Calyx (4): 5 joined sepals.|
|Corolla: 5 petals. One at the top, called standard (5); two sided ones, called wings (6) and two joined ones below which form the keel (7)||
|Stamens: 10 usually joined into a tube.|
|Fruit: Pod (8) dehiscent into two valves.|
They are about 450 genera. The most important ones are the following:
(Vicia cracca subsp. incana)