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Plant family: fabaceae


The legume family, former known as leguminosae, is a large one, with members as varied as vegetables (peas and beans), garden flowers (sweet peas, baptisia), shrubs (indigofera, bush clover), and trees. They all have podded fruit, and have nitrogen-fixing nodules at their roots, through a symbiotic relationship with soil micro-organisms.

I use the GRIN online query system to determine plant families. The list below shows the plants in my database listed as members of the fabaceae family. Click on the botanical name of any plant to go to the plant portrait. For a list of all the plant families represented in our garden, see my families page.

Botanical name Common name Category FlowersSize
Acacia baileyana 'Purpurea' Cootamundra wattle; golden mimosa treetree (Z9-11) yellow (early spring)20-30'
Acacia farnesiana huisache; sweet acaciatree (Z9-11) yellow15-20'
Acaciella angustissima white ball acacia; fern acacia; prairie wattleperennial/subshrub white/yellow1-4'
Amorpha fruticosa desert false indigoshrub purple
Amorpha nana dwarf false indigoshrub purple12-36"
Amphicarpaea bracteata American hog peanutperennial (Z5) pink to white (late summer)vine to 4'
Anthyllis vulneraria var. coccinea kidney vetch; woundwortperennial (Z6-10) orange-red (spring)6-16"
Astragalus angustifolius perennial/shrub white/purple (summer)
Astragalus crassicarpus groundplum milk vetchperennial (Z3-8) rose/white
Astragalus lentiginosus var. palans freckled milkvetch; spotted locoweedtender perennial? 12-18"
Astragalus newberryi var. castoreus Newberry's milkvetch purple
Astragalus utahensis Utah milkvetchperennial (Z5-7) pink (spring)to 6"
Baptisia 'Purple Smoke' perennial dusty purple (early summer)3-4'
Baptisia 'Solar Flare Prairieblues' perennial (Z4-9) yellow - orange (mid-late spring)3-4'
Baptisia 'Twilite Prairieblues' false indigoperennial (Z4-8) violet - burgundy
Baptisia alba white false indigoperennial white
Baptisia alba var. alba white false indigoperennial white (early summer)4' tall, 2' wide
Baptisia alba var. macrophylla white false indigo; prairie false indigoperennial white (spring)2-4'
Baptisia arachnifera cobwebby wild indigo; hairy rattleweedperennial yellow
Baptisia australis false indigoperennial (Z3-9) blue3-4'
Baptisia australis var. minor dwarf false indigoperennial (Z5-9) blue24"
Baptisia bracteata var. leucophaea perennial
Baptisia lanceolata gopherweed; lance-leaf false indigoperennial (Z5-9) yellow (summer)12-18"
Baptisia perfoliata eucalyptus wild indigo, gopher weed, cat's bells perennial (Z6-9) yellow (summer)36"
Baptisia sphaerocarpa yellow baptisiaperennial (Z5-9) yellow pea flowers in summer3' tall by 2' wide
Baptisia tinctoria yellow wild indigo; rattleweedperennial (Z3-9) yellow (late spring)2-3'
Bauhinia brachycarpa orchid treetree (Z8-11) white8-10'
Bauhinia galpinii red orchid tree; pride of de Kaapshrub (Z9-11) red (summer)to 10'
Bauhinia lunarioides Anacacho orchidtree (Z8-11) white or pale pink (spring)8-12'
Caesalpinia pulcherrima pride of Barbadostender shrub (Z8-11) orange-red (summer-fall)to 8'
Calliandra emarginata dwarf red powderpuffshrub (Z9-11) red-pink6'
Calliandra eriophylla pink fairy dusterperennial (Z8b-10) pink12-36"
Campylotropis macrocarpa false bush clover; Chinese pea shrubshrub (Z5) purple-pink5'
Caragana arborescens Siberian pea treetree
Cassia nemophila desert cassiashrub (Z7) yellow (early spring)6-8'
Centrosema virginianum spurred butterfly peatender perennial (Z7) purple (summer)vine to 4 ft
Cercis canadensis Eastern redbudtree various colors, spring
Cercis chinensis Chinese redbudtree (Z6-9) white8-12'
Cercis siliquastrum Judas treetree purple-roseto 15 ft
Chamaecrista fasciculata partridge peaannual yellow24-36"
Cladrastis kentukea yellowwoodtree whiteto 60 ft
Clianthus puniceus lobster claw; kaka beakperennial (Z8-11) pink3-5'
Clitoria ternatea butterfly pea; blue peatender perennial (Z10-11) blue4-6'
Colutea orientalis bladder sennashrub (Z5-7) copper/yellow (autumn)6'
Crotalaria sagittalis arrowhead rattlebox
Dalea candida white prairie cloverperennial (Z3-8) white12-24"
Dalea frutescens black prairie cloverperennial purple-pink (spring-fall)36"
Dalea greggii trailing indigo bush, Gregg's prairie cloverperennial purple (spring)9-12"
Dalea purpurea purple prairie cloverperennial (Z3-9) purple (mid-summer)1-2'
Desmanthus illinoensis bundleflower; prairie mimosaperennial (Z5-9) white (summer)5'
Desmodium canadense showy tick trefoil pink
Dorycnium hirsutum hairy canary-cloverperennial purple (summer)4"
Ebenopsis ebano Texas ebonytree (Z9-10) cream (spring-fall)25'
Erythrina crista-galli coral beanshrub/tree (Z9-11) red (late spring-summer)to 20'
Erythrina herbacea coral bean; Cherokee beantender perennial (Z8-10) scarlet
Galega officinalis goat's rueperennial white3 ft
Galega orientalis oriental goat's rueperennial lavender
Genista tinctoria dyer's broomperennial (Z4-7) yellow (summer)2-3'
Gleditsia triacanthos honey locusttree
Gymnocladus dioicus Kentucky coffee treetree
Hedysarum coronarium French honeysuckleperennial/biennial (Z4-9) red (spring)3'
Indigofera amblyantha pinkflower indigoperennial shrub (Z6-10) pink-purple, late summer3'
Indigofera heterantha indigo shrubshrub purpleup to 6 ft
Indigofera kirilowii Chinese indigoshrub (Z5-7) pink-purple (summer)24-36"
Indigofera pseudotinctoria 'Rose Carpet' prostrate indigo bushshrub (Z6-9) pink (summer)6-8"
Lablab purpureus hyacinth beantender perennial/annual purple10' (grown as annual)
Laburnum anagyroides golden chain treetree (Z5-7) yellow (spring)12-30'
Lathyrus aureus golden perennial sweet peaperennial (Z5-9) gold-orange (summer)18-24"
Lathyrus clymenum Spanish vetchlingannual purple
Lathyrus davidii perennial orange (summer)
Lathyrus japonicus ssp. maritimus beach peaperennial purple/whitetrailing
Lathyrus latifolius perennial sweet peaperennial (Z3-7) purpleclimbs up to 8ft
Lathyrus nervosus Lord Anson's blue peatender perennial blue
Lathyrus odoratus sweet peaannual variousclimbs to 6'
Lathyrus rotundifolius perennial (Z5-11) red/cream (summer)vine to 8'
Lathyrus tingitanus Tangier peatender perennial? bright purple
Lathyrus tuberosus tuberous sweet peaperennial pinkvine to 4'
Lathyrus venetus Venetian vetchlingperennial pink/white
Lathyrus vernus spring vetch; everlasting sweet peaperennial (Z5-9) purple (spring)12-18"
Lespedeza capitata round-headed bush cloverperennial (Z4-8) creamy white (summer)2-4'
Lespedeza liukiuensis 'Little Volcano' bush clovershrub (Z6-9) purple-pink (summer-fall)4-6'
Lespedeza thunbergii bush clovershrub (Z5-8) purple (late summer)to 7 ft
Lessertia frutescens balloon peashrub (Z9b-11) red18-36"
Lotus corniculatus bird's foot trefoilperennial yellow (late spring-summer)sprawler
Lupinus hybrids lupineperennial mixed colors3 ft
Lupinus latifolius var. parishii Parish's lupine, broadleaf lupineperennial (don't know zones) purple
Lupinus luteus European yellow lupineannual yellow (summer)2'
Lupinus polyphyllus large-leaf lupin; garden lupinbiennial/perennial (Z4-10) purple-blue (spring)3-4'
Lupinus texensis Texas bluebonnetannual blue (spring)12"
Maackia amurensis tree (Z3-8) white (June)20-30'
Medicago arabica spotted medick yellow
Medicago lupulina black medicannual/perennial yellow (late spring-summer)groundhugger
Melilotus albus white sweet cloverannual/biennial creamy white (summer)4-6'
Melilotus officinalis yellow sweet cloverperennial? yellow or white (late spring-summer)2-5'
Mimosa quadrivalvis var. occidentalis western sensitive briarperennial (Z?) pink4"
Ononis repens restharrowperennial purple/pink (July-August)6"
Orbexilum pedunculatum Samson's snakeroot, Congo rootperennial (Z6-9) purple (late spring-summer)12-32"
Oxytropis borealis var. viscida sticky crazyweedperennial cream to purple (summer)
Oxytropis multiceps dwarf locoweed; Nuttall's oxytropeperennial (Z4) pink/white2"
Oxytropis oreophila locoweedperennial (Z4-7) purple (spring)2-6"
Oxytropis shokanbetsuensis mashikegengeperennial purple15"
Pediomelum tenuiflorum wild alfalfa; slender-flower breadrootperennial (Z4-9) pink (spring)36"
Phaseolus polystachios thicket bean, wild kidney beanperennial pink-purpleto 12'
Phaseolus vulgaris 'Trionfo Violetto' purple climbing beanannual vegetable purple (summer)climber
Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon 'Carouby de Maussane' snow peaannual purple (late spring)vine to 3'
Psoralea canescens buckroot; eastern prairie turnipperennial (Z6-9) cream30"
Psorothamnus fremontii indigo bush; mojave dalea; Fremont's daleashrub blue-purple (spring)2-3'
Senna corymbosa shrub (Z8-11) yellow (late summer-fall)5'
Senna marilandica American sennashrubby perennial yellow (July)3-5 ft
Senna splendida showy senna; golden wondershrub/tree (Z9-11) yellow (fall-winter)9-12'
Sophora affinis Eve's necklace; Texas sophorashrub/tree pink (spring)
Sophora davidii shrub pagoda treeshrub (Z4-7) white/blue (May)4-6'
Sophora prostrata kōwhaishrub yellow6'
Sophora secundiflora Texas mountain laureltree (Z7b-10) purple (early spring)10-20'
Thermopsis chinensis 'Sophia' dwarf southern lupine, pea bushperennial yellow (spring)18"
Thermopsis lanceolata golden pea, golden bannerperennial (Z3-9) yellow (mid-spring)3-4'
Thermopsis villosa Carolina lupine, Aaron's rodperennial (Z3-9) yellow (April-July)4'
Trifolium repens white cloverperennial white
Vicia sativa common vetchannual pink
Vicia villosa hairy vetchannual purplerambling
Vigna unguiculata yardlong bean; Chinese red noodle beanannual purplevine to 8'
Vigna vexillata wild mung bean; wild cow pea; zombi peatender perennial magentavine
Wisteria sinensis Chinese wisteriaperennial (Z5-9) violet-blue (May-June)10-25 ft

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Last modified: December 11, 2014
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