Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains
Fabaceae - The Bean Family
Perennial herbs and shrubs (those included here) with pinnately compound, alternate,
usually stipulate leaves; leaflets 3-many, the terminal one sometimes
modified as a tendril (Lathyrus). Inflorescences of densely to
loosely flowered, simple or branched racemes. Flowers perfect, irregular,
hypogynous to somewhat perigynous; calyx regular to strongly irregular,
5-lobed; corolla of 5 separate lobes (only 1 lobe in Amorpha),
these unequal, the upper median lobe termed the standard, exterior to and larger
than the others, the 2 lateral petals termed the wings, exterior to the lowest
ones which are called the keel petals, the latter partly coherent to enclose
the stamens and style; stamens 10, monadelphous or diadelphous in a 9
+ 1 arrangement; pistil 1, simple, with a single stigma and style, ovary
1-celled, maturing into a legume (pod) which is dehiscent by 2 sutures
or indehiscent, sometimes constricted between the seeds (Desmodium) and
ultimately breaking into 1-seeded joints or segments.
||Shrub; corolla 1-lobed, only the standard present.
||Herbs; corolla 5-lobed.
||Plants climbing; leaves with a tendril at the tip;
||Plants erect; leaves without tendrils; fruits with
hooked hairs or prickles.
||Leaflets 3; petals reddish-purple, drying dark blue;
fruit with hooked hairs, constricted between the seeds.
||Leaflets 7-21; petals cream or creamy-white; fruit
with stout hooked bristles, not constricted between the seeds.
28. Fabaceae, the Bean Family
1. Amorpha L.
2. Desmodium Desv. -- Tickclover
- 1. Amorpha fruticosa L. -- False indigo
3. Glycyrrhiza L. -- Licorice
- 1. Desmodium canadense (L.) DC. --
4. Lathyrus L. -- Vetchling
- 1. Glycyrrhiza lepidota Pursh -- Wild
- 1. Lathyrus palustris L. -- Marsh
Previous Section -- Mimosaceae - The Mimosa Family
Return to Contents
Next Section -- Haloragaceae - The Water Milfoil