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
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 NumberEnglish nameBangla nameBotanical nameEconomic Importance
1Ground nutBadamArachishypozeaUsed as pulse, oil
2ChickpeaChola, bootCicer arietinumUsed as pulse
3PigeonpeaArharayaCajanuscajanUsed as pulse
4SoybeanSoyabeanGlycine maxUsed as pulse oil and soya cake
5LentilMasurLens culinarisUsed as pulse
6Grass peaKheshariLathyrussativusUsed as pulse
7Pea, garden peaMotor, motor-shutiPisumsativumL.Used as pulse
8Black gramMashkalaiVigna mungoUsed as pulse
9Faba beanBarashim, baklaViciafabaUsed as pulse
10Yard long beanBarabotiVignasinensisUsed as pulse
11Mung beanMugkalaiVignaradiataUsed as pulse
12AlfalfaLasanMedicago sativa L.Used as fodder
13SunhempShon pat, GhatiCrotolariajunceaUsed as fodder and fiber
14Butterfly peaAparajitaClitoriaternateaUsed as ornamental
15IndigoNilIndigoferaindicaUsed as dye
16MedicagoHaludlupinMedicagolupulinaL.Grazing purpose
17Scarlet runner beanNot knownPhaseoluscoccineusvegetable
18French beanFarashi beanPhaseolus vulgarisVegetable and fodder
19Not knownChoto motorPisumarvensePulse and fodder
20Winged beanKamranga shim, corolla shimPsophocarpustetragonolobusVegetable and fodder
21SesbaniaDhainchaSesbaniabisponosaGreen manure
22Not knownBakfulSesbania grandifloraVegetable and fodder
23Yard-long beanborobotiVignaunguiculataImportant pulse
24Rice beanNot knownVignaumbellata (Thunb)Vegetable and fodder
25Bush beanBush bean 
26FenugreekMethiTrigonellafoenum-graecumL.Spices and vegetable
27LablabSheemLablab purpureusVegetable