Fabaceae family was earlier called Papilonoideae, a subfamily of family Leguminosae. It is distributed all over the world (Figure).
Vegetative Characters: Trees, shrubs, herbs: root with root nodules,
Stem: Erect or climber,
Leaves: Alternate, pinnately compound or simple; leaf base, pulvinate; stipulate; venation reticulate.
Figure: Pisum sativum (pea) plant: (a) Flowering twig (b) Flower (c) Petals (d) Reproductive parts (e) L.S.carpel (f) Floral diagram
Flower: bisexual. Zygomorphic.
Calyx: sepals five, gamosepalous; imbricate aestivation.
Corolla: petals five, polypetalous, paplionaceous, consisting of a posterior standard, two lateral wings, two anterior ones forming a keel (enclosing stamens and pistil). vexillary aestivation.
Androecium: ten, diadelphous, anther dithecous.
Gynoecium: ovary superior, mono carpellary, unflocular with many ovules, style single.
Fruit: legume; seed: one to many, non-endospermic
Economic importance: Many plants belonging to the family are sources of pulses (gram, arhar, sem, moong. soyabean; edible oil (soyabean, groundnut); dye (indigofera); fibres (sunhemp); fodder (Sesbania, Trifollurn), ornamentals (lupin, sweet pea); medicine (muliathi).