Floral Formula Of Fabaceae

Fabaceae is a family of angiosperms. It is also known as Leguminosae and the plants are commonly known as legumes. It is widely distributed all over the world. It includes many important pulses such as peas, soybean, chickpeas, etc.

Floral formula and floral diagram of Fabaceae family

Floral Formula

A floral formula is a symbolic representation of different floral parts, their numbers, arrangement pattern and how they are related. The floral formula of Pisum sativum (peas) of the Fabaceae family is as follows:

% ⚥ K(5) C1+2+(2) A(9)+1 G1

Here the symbols represent:

Zygomorphic (bilateral symmetry)
Bisexual
K(5) Calyx – 5 sepals, gamosepalous (united)
C1+2+(2) Corolla – 5 petals, polypetalous
A(9)+1 Androecium – 10 stamens, diadelphous
G1 Gynoecium – monocarpellary, superior ovary

Systematic Position Of Fabaceae

Kingdom: Plantae

 

Subkingdom: Tracheobionta

Super Division: Spermatophyta

Division: Magnoliophyta

Class: Magnoliopsida

Subclass: Rosidae

Order: Fabales

Family: Fabaceae

Features Of Fabaceae Family

Some Common Plants

Fabaceae is the third-largest family of angiosperms. It contains ~750 genera and ~20,000 species. Astragalus, Acacia, Indigofera, Crotalaria and Mimosa are five of the largest genera of the Fabaceae family. Some common examples are:

Common name Scientific name
Acacia Acacia
Alfalfa Medicago sativa
Mulethi (Liquorice) Glycyrrhiza glabra
Common bean Phaseolus vulgaris
Pigeon pea (Arhar) Cajanus cajan
Mung bean Vigna radiata
Chickpea Cicer arietinum
Cowpea Vigna unguiculata
Fenugreek Trigonella foenum-graecum
Hyacinth bean (Sem) Lablab purpureus
Indigo (Neel) Indigofera
Touch me not Mimosa pudica
Sunn hemp Crotalaria juncea
Peas Pisum sativum
Peanuts Arachis hypogaea
Soybean Glycine max
Tamarind Tamarindus indica
Broad beans Vicia faba

Description Of The Family

It is the third-largest family of flowering plants.

Habitat: Plants may be mesophytes, xerophytes or heliophytes.

Habit: Fabaceae family contains shrubs, trees and many annual and perennial herbaceous plants.

Root: The presence of root nodules is the characteristic property of the family. They contain nitrogen-fixing symbiotic bacteria (Rhizobium) in their root nodules.

Stem: Herbaceous or woody. The stem may be erect or climber.

Leaf: Leaves are mostly alternate, simple or pinnately compound with reticulate venation. Leaves are stipulate. They have swollen (pulvinate) leaf base.

Inflorescence: Mostly racemose type.

Flower: Generally zygomorphic, i.e bilaterally symmetrical and bisexual. The flower is generally pentamerous and hypogynous.

Calyx: Five sepals, gamosepalous and show valvate or imbricate aestivation.

Corolla: Papilionaceous and polypetalous petals with vexillary aestivation. Five petals, one posteriorly placed, two lateral, called wings and two anterior, enclosing stamens and pistil, which is known as the keel.

Androecium: Stamens ten, diadelphous. Anthers with two lobes, i.e. dithecous.

Gynoecium: Mono carpellary with the superior and unilocular ovary. Each locule contains many ovules. It contains one curved style.

Fruit: Legume

Seeds: Nonedospermic and with two cotyledons.

Pollination: Members of this family mainly exhibit entomophilous pollination, i.e. pollinated by insects.

Economic Importance

  • Many plants provide pulses, e.g. moong, bean, arhar dal, masoor dal, gram, soybean, sem, etc.
  • Many plants are a source of edible oil such as peanuts, soybean, etc.
  • Indigo is a widely used dye we get from Indigofera.
  • Some of the plants yield fibres, e.g Sunn hemp.
  • Many plants have medicinal properties. E.g. Mulethi is a very effective remedy for cough.
  • Some of the plants are used for ornamental purposes, e.g. Sesbania, Lupinus, sweet pea, etc.

To sum up, in general, the flowers of the Fabaceae family are zygomorphic, bisexual, pentamerous and hypogynous.

Calyx has five sepals, which are united or gamosepalous with valvate or imbricate aestivation.

Corolla consists of five petals, which are polypetalous with vexillary aestivation.

Androecium contains ten diadelphous stamens.

The gynoecium is monocarpellary with a superior ovary.

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