According to plant taxonomists, it has been estimated that a total of 2 to 3 million plant species exist on our planet. Among them, around two lakh species are angiosperms (flowering plants), while others include gymnosperms, bryophytes, hydrophytes and other vascular and non-vascular plants. These plants are grouped into different families depending upon their characteristics.
Table of Contents
Read on to explore the Solanaceae, Fabaceae, and Liliaceae families of flowering plants, their characteristics and importance in complete detail.
Also refer: Asteraceae, Brassicaceae, and Poaceae
The Solanaceae family is also known as the potato family. Around 2000 species of dicotyledonous plants belong to this family. Solanaceae is included under the order Solanales. Its important characteristics are mentioned below.
Characteristics of Solanaceae Family
Following are the characteristic features of the Solanaceae family:
- Root System: Taproot system.
- Stem: Erect or climber; Solanaceae includes herbs, shrubs, small trees, and climbers.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple or pinnately compound (rarely); exstipulate; reticulate venation.
- Inflorescence: Racemose- terminal or axillary raceme; Cymose- solitary in Solanum.
- Flower: Complete, bisexual, actinomorphic, hypogynous.
- Calyx: Five sepals, gamosepalous; valvate aestivation.
- Corolla: Five petals, gamopetalous, valvate aestivation.
- Androecium: Five stamens, epipetalous; anthers basifixed.
- Gynoecium: Syncarpous, bicarpellary, bilocular, superior ovary, axile placentation.
- Fruit: Berry/ capsule.
- Seed: Numerous, endospermous
The economic importance of some plants belonging to the Solanaceae family is as follows:
- These are important sources of food. E.g. tomato, brinjal and potato
- These are important sources of spices. E.g. chilly
- The leaves of Nicotiana tabacum are a major source of tobacco.
- These are also used as ornamental plants. E.g. petunia
- Plants such as belladonna and ashwagandha are also used as medicinal plants.
Also refer: Dicotyledonous and Monocotyledonous Seeds
The Fabaceae family is a large family of the plant kingdom, including several economically important plants. The family Fabaceae is also known as Leguminosae or Papilionaceae since it belongs to the pea or legume family. There are around 20,000 species of dicotyledonous Fabaceae plants widely distributed all over the world.
Characteristics of Fabaceae Family
Listed below are the morphological and floral characteristics of the Fabaceae family.
- Root: Dicotyledons, taproot with root nodules.
- Stem: Erect or climber; Fabaceae includes shrubs, herbs, trees and majorly climbers.
- Leaves: Petiolate, pinnately compound or simple; pulvinus leaf base, stipulate; reticulate venation.
- Inflorescence: Racemose.
- Flower: Complete, bisexual, zygomorphic, hypogynous, bracteate/ ebracteate.
- Calyx: Five sepals, gamosepalous; valvate or imbricate aestivation.
- Corolla: Five petals, polypetalous, papilionaceous, vexillary aestivation.
- Androecium: Ten stamens (9+1), diadelphous, anther dithecous.
- Gynoecium: Superior ovary, monocarpellary, unilocular, single, short -style and flat, hairy-stigma.
- Fruit: Legume.
- Seed: One or more, non-endospermic.
Many plants belonging to this family are economically useful. Few of them are listed below:
- The plants of this family are unique and have root nodules which contain nitrogen-fixing symbiotic bacteria, capable of transforming atmospheric nitrogen into fixed nitrogen or ammonia.
- Pulses like gram, moong, soya bean are the main source of food.
- Mulethi plant is known for its medicinal value.
- Soya bean and groundnuts are used to extract oil that is used for cooking.
- Sunn hemp is the source of timber and fibre.
- Indigofera is used to make dye.
- Sesbania and Trifolium are the sources of fodder or livestock feed.
- Lupin and sweet pea are known as ornamental plants.
Liliaceae is the family of around 2500 species of perennial, herbaceous monocots. It is also known as the ‘lily family’. Its characteristics are discussed below.
Characteristics of Liliaceae Family
Following are the important characteristics of the Liliaceae family.
- Root: Fibrous root system.
- Stem: Erect; Liliaceae includes perennial herbs which propagate through bulbs or rhizomes.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple; exstipulate; parallel venation.
- Inflorescence: Cymose- solitary; umbellate clusters.
- Flower: Complete, bisexual, actinomorphic; hypogynous, perianth present.
- Perianth: Indistinctive sepal and petal; six tepals (3+3), often united tepals; valvate aestivation.
- Androecium: Six stamens in two whorls (3+3).
- Gynoecium: Syncarpous, tricarpellary, trilocular, superior ovary with axile placentation.
- Fruit: Mostly Capsule and sometimes berry.
- Seed: Endospermic seeds.
The economic importance of the plants belonging to the Liliaceae family are:
- Source of Medicine -Aloe vera, Smilax and Colchicine.
- Ornamental Plants -Lilium, tulips, Gloriosa and Ruscus.
- Source of food (or) Vegetables-Asparagus.
- Bulbs of Allium cepa and the roots of various species of Smilax are used as flavouring agents.
Learn more about Solanaceae, Fabaceae, and Liliaceae families at BYJU’S Biology.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which plant is a member of the Solanaceae family?
Solanaceae family includes a number of ornamental plants such as Petunia, Lycianthes, Browallia, and other plants such as Atropa belladonna, Mandragora, and Datura.
Which vegetables fall under the Solanaceae family?
The vegetables under the Solanaceae family include potatoes, eggplant, tomato, capsicum and chilly.
What is the economic importance of the Fabaceae family?
The Fabaceae family include leguminous plants that are important both ecologically and economically. They help to increase the nitrogen content of the soil and is a rich source of protein for humans and livestock.
What kind of plants fall under the Fabaceae family?
Fabaceae plants are commonly known as legumes. They are entomophilous plants, that are pollinated by insects.
Solanaceae is included under order?