legume

legume lĕ´gyo͞om, lĭgyo͞om´ [key], common name for any plant of the family Leguminosae, which is called also the pulse , legume, pea, or bean family. The word is often used loosely in the plural for vegetables in general. Botanically, a legume is the characteristic fruit of the pulse family plants, called also leguminous plants. It is a pod which usually splits along two sides, with the seeds attached along one of the sutures. The family Leguminosae is classified in the division Magnoliophyta , class Magnoliopsida, order Rosales.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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