Family                        : Fabaceae

Conserved name        : Leguminosae

Popular name            : The Pea or Bean Family

Identifying characters of the family

  • Root bears nodule
  • Fruit is legume
  • Presence of compound leaf
  • Pistill looks like a sword
  • Androecium mona/dia delphous
  • Ovary monocarpellary, marginal placentation

Family-Fabaceae/The pea family

Taxonomic Position (according to Cronquist)


Kingdom : Plantae
Division : Magnoliophyta
Class :Magnoliopsida
Subclass : Rosidae
Order : Fabales
Family : Fabacaeae


Identifying characters of Fabaceae (Papilionacae) family


  • Herb, shrub or tree
  • Presence of root nodule
  • Usually trifoliate compound leaf
  • Papilianaceous corolla with vexillary placentation
  • Stamen 10, diadelphous (9+1)
  • Fruit, a legume

The family Fabaceae consists of about 440 genera and 12,000 species, widespread in temperate and cold as well as tropical regions. In Bangladesh, this family is represented by 69 genera and 254 species.

Botanical Description of the Family

Habit: Generally annual herbs (some time twining or climbing by tendrils); but may be shrubs or trees.

Leaves: Leaves simple, digitately or pinnately compound, very rarely bi-pinnate, alternate, often stipulate, sometimes with rachis ending in a tendril.

Inflorescence: Inflorescence axillary, racimose, leaf-opposed or terminal, bracts and bracteoles usually present.

Flower: Flowers irregular, rarely regular, hermaphrodite. Sepals 5, united above the middle and beyond the disk in a campanulate or tubular calyx, with truncate, 5-toothed or 5-lobed limb, often 2 upper sepals connate into 2 lips. Petals 5, aestivation vexillary, erect or spreading, the upper (standard) outermost, free or adnate to stamens, the lower (keel) innermost, usually connate by their adjacent margins, the 2 laterals (wings) intermediate, often attached to the keel.

Androecium: Stamens inserted with petals on the disk within the calyx tube, usually 10, free, or more often diadelphous, the 9 lower connate in a sheath, the upper solitary and free.

Gynoecium: Carpel 1, free, styles simple, stigmas capitate, terminal or oblique, placentation merginal.

Fruit: Fruit usually legume, splitting along both sutures, sometimes indehiscent and separated into 1-seeded joints.

Seeds: Seeds usually exalbuminous.

 Table 1. Economic Important Plants of Fabaceae Family

Serial Number English name Bangla name Botanical name Economic Importance
1 Ground nut Badam Arachishypozea Used as pulse, oil
2 Chickpea Chola, boot Cicer arietinum Used as pulse
3 Pigeonpea Arharaya Cajanuscajan Used as pulse
4 Soybean Soyabean Glycine max Used as pulse oil and soya cake
5 Lentil Masur Lens culinaris Used as pulse
6 Grass pea Kheshari Lathyrussativus Used as pulse
7 Pea, garden pea Motor, motor-shuti PisumsativumL. Used as pulse
8 Black gram Mashkalai Vigna mungo Used as pulse
9 Faba bean Barashim, bakla Viciafaba Used as pulse
10 Yard long bean Baraboti Vignasinensis Used as pulse
11 Mung bean Mugkalai Vignaradiata Used as pulse
12 Alfalfa Lasan Medicago sativa L. Used as fodder
13 Sunhemp Shon pat, Ghati Crotolariajuncea Used as fodder and fiber
14 Butterfly pea Aparajita Clitoriaternatea Used as ornamental
15 Indigo Nil Indigoferaindica Used as dye
16 Medicago Haludlupin MedicagolupulinaL. Grazing purpose
17 Scarlet runner bean Not known Phaseoluscoccineus vegetable
18 French bean Farashi bean Phaseolus vulgaris Vegetable and fodder
19 Not known Choto motor Pisumarvense Pulse and fodder
20 Winged bean Kamranga shim, corolla shim Psophocarpustetragonolobus Vegetable and fodder
21 Sesbania Dhaincha Sesbaniabisponosa Green manure
22 Not known Bakful Sesbania grandiflora Vegetable and fodder
23 Yard-long bean boroboti Vignaunguiculata Important pulse
24 Rice bean Not known Vignaumbellata (Thunb) Vegetable and fodder
25 Bush bean Bush bean  
26 Fenugreek Methi Trigonellafoenum-graecumL. Spices and vegetable
27 Lablab Sheem Lablab purpureus Vegetable