Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Family Fabaceae (Papionaceae) and its Economic Importance

Most of our vegetables like Pea, bean, pulses and ground nut used in manufacture of vegetables ghee belong to this family.

VEGETATIVE CHARACTERS: Plants are herbs, shrubs or trees, climbers, aquatic plants or xerophytes.

Root: Taproot branched bearing tubercles containing nitrogen fixing bacteria.

Stem: Herbaceous or woody, erect or climber by tendrils.

Leaf: Simple or commonly composed, modified partly or completely into tendrils, alternate stipulate, stipules leafy.

Floral characters:

Inflorescence: Racenose, rarely solitary.

Flower: bisexual, irregular, complete, zygomorphic and perigynous.

Calyx: Five sepals, gamosepalous, inferior odd sepal anterior.

Corolla: Five polypetalous, descending impricate, papilionaceous (butterfly shaped), the odd posterior is the largest and is known as standard of vexilum, two side petals are alae or wings and two lower or anterior petals are fused into boat like structure called keel or carina enclosing the essential organs.

Androecum: Ten stamens, usually diadelphous, nine fuse to form a sheath round the pistil while the tenth posterior one is free, inferior.

Gynoecum: Monorcarpellary; ovary superior, unilocular, ovules numerous on marginal placenta style long bent at its base, flattened and hairy, stigma simple.

Fruit: A legume or pod with variety of forms.

Seeds: Non endospermic.

Floral Formula: +, ♀, K (5), C1+2+(2), A (a)+1, G 1

Floral Diagram: (121) FIG 118 PAGE 167 FIG 119 PAGE 168 ANGIOSPERM BY G. L. CHOPRA

e.g. Lathyrus odoraths (sweet Pea or phulmuttar), Sesbania aegyptiaca (Jait), Arachis hypogea (Ground nuty) Alhagi marorum (Kandero), Dulbergia sissu (shishan) pisum sativum.

Economic Importance

(1) Seeds of several plants yield all the pulses like moong, mash, arhar beans, gram and peas which are commonly used as food stuffs rich in proteins and starches.

(2) Many trees yield excellent timber like sheesham.

(3) Some plants like ground nut yield oil and seed, which are edible.

(4) Pisum (matter) affords vegetables.

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