The Fabaceae, commonly known as the Legume, Pea, or Bean family, includes trees, shrubs, and perennial or annual herbaceous plants, which are easily recognized by their fruit (legume) and their compound, stipulated leaves. The family is widely distributed, and is the third-largest land plant family in terms of number of species, behind only the Orchidaceae and Asteraceae, with about 751 genera and some 19,000 known species. The name comes from the defunct genus Faba, now included in Vicia. The term “faba” comes from Latin, and appears to simply mean “bean”. Leguminosae is an older name still considered valid and refers to the fruit of these plants, which are called legumes.
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