Fabaceae: Papilionoideae

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Description: All the imparipinnate legumes (i.e., those with a terminal leaflet) belong to this subfamily. There are also a number of trifoliate herbs, vines, and lianas, and one unifoliolate Swartzia species (S. simplex; its leaves can be distinguished from regular simple leaves by the winged, jointed petiole). The flowers of Papilionoid legumes are shaped like typical garden pea flowers, with the two lower petals fused into a keel and the upper petals flared out to the sides.

Economic uses: All our fabaceous vegetables—green beans, fava beans, peas, peanuts, etc.— come from this subfamily. Indigo, from several species of Indigofera, was once a valuable source of pigments.


Descripción: Todas las Fabaceas que son imparipinnadas (es decir, con un foliolo terminal) pertenecen a esta subfamilia. También hay muchas plantas trifolioladas (hierbas y bejucos), y una especie unifoliolada de Swartzia (S. simplex; se pueden distinguir las hojas unifolioladas de las hojas simples porque tienen los pecíolos alados y articulados). Las flores de las Papilionoideae tienen un pétalo superior grande llamado el estandarte, y los dos más inferiores están unidos envainando los estambres.

Usos económicos: Muchos vegetales—frijoles, habichuelas, lentejas, maní y más—pertenecen a esta subfamilia. La tinta índigo, obtenida de varias especies del género Indigofera fue alguna vez una fuente importante de pigmentos.


For additional information see Fabaceae.


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