|Sophora cassioides Kowhai|
Fabaceae is the systematic name of plant family, commonly known as Pea family, consisting in three subgroups namely, Caesalpinioideae, Mimosoideae and Papilionoideae (or better Faboideae). In the modern systems like as APG II circumscription this family Fabaceae is close related to quillaja Quillajaceae, and Polygalaceae or milkworts (including the families Diclidantheraceae, Moutabeaceae, and Xanthophyllaceae), and Surianaceae.
The leaves are usually alternate and compound, in the Mimosoideae and the Caesalpinioideae commonly bipinnate (e.g. Acacia, Mimosa). In many species the leaves have structures evolved to attract ants, that, being predatory, protect the plant from herbivore insects. Extrafloral nectaries -a gland secreting nectar -are common among the Mimosoideae and the Caesalpinioideae and are also found in some Faboideae (e.g. vetches Vicia sativa). Fabaceae are typically entomophilous plants (i.e. they are pollinated by insects) and the flower are usually showy to attract the pollinators.
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Caesalpinioideae: Senna (herb)
Papilionoideae: Broom (shrub)
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