1. Family: Fabaceae Lindl.
    1. Lathyrus L.

      1. This genus is accepted, and its native range is Temp. & Subtropical to Tropical Mountains.


    Legumes of the World. Edited by G. Lewis, B. Schrire, B. MacKinder & M. Lock. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. (2005)


    Widely known as the Vicieae, the correct name for this tribe is Fabeae (see Greuter et al., 2000, Articles 19.4 and 18.5), since it must be based on the name of the type genus of the family, Faba Mill. (= Vicia L.). This does not reflect on the names Leguminosae and Papilionoideae (see introduction) whose use as alternative names for Fabaceae and Faboideae respectively is sanctioned in the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (Greuter et al., 2000; Article 18.5).

    Fabeae is a well-defined tribe, forming part of the ‘temperate epulvinate series’ (Polhill, 1981a). It contains five genera, of which two (Lathyrus and Vicia) are large. The tribe as a whole is centred in the Irano-Turanian Region of the E Mediterranean. Lathyrus and Vicia, each with about 160 species, have very similar distributions centred on the Mediterranean but extending throughout Europe, N Asia and N and tropical E Africa, with secondary centres in N America and S America. One large group of species, some in Vicia and some in Lathyrus, are superficially extremely similar and can only be distinguished by technical characters of the style. This group was in the past recognised as the genus Orobus L. (Kupicha, 1981a). Lens has 4–6 species and Pisum 2 or 3. Both include important crop plants and, perhaps because of this, their taxonomy is controversial. Both are E Mediterranean genera with outlying species. The monospecific genus Vavilovia, sometimes included in Pisum, is confined to montane habitats in W Asia.

    Kupicha (1981a) was unable to suggest a closest relative of the tribe; she had previously (Kupicha, 1977) excluded Abrus (Abreae) and Cicer (Cicereae) from it. The morphological analysis of Chappill (1995) placed Fabeae (as Vicieae) in a group with Astragalinae, Galeginae, Loteae, Coronilleae, Cicereae and Trifolieae. Doyle (1995) included these subtribes and tribes (except Loteae and Coronilleae) in a clade characterised by the loss of the inverted repeat (the IRLC), with Carmichaelieae (here included in Galegeae sens. lat.), Cicereae, Galegeae, Hedysareae, some Millettieae, and Trifolieae. More recent work (Wojciechowski et al., 2000) places Fabeae at the heart of a Vicioid clade that includes Trifolieae (q.v.) and Cicereae as well as Galega — a fragment of a paraphyletic Galegeae. Fabeae (as Vicieae) appears embedded within Trifolieae as sister to Trifolium.

    In the analyses of Steele & Wojciechowski (2003) and Wojciechowski et al. (2004), Fabeae (as Vicieae) forms a clearly monophyletic group in which Pisum is sister to Lathyrus, and these two emerge as a well supported clade within a paraphyletic Vicia. A subclade of Vicia species is sister to Lens. Within Lathyrus, the cpDNA restriction site phylogeny of Asmussen & Liston (1998) agrees in general with dividing the genus into sections previously recognised using classical taxonomic methodology (e.g., Kupicha, 1983).

    The publications of the Vicieae Database Project (e.g., Allkin et al., 1983 a & b) provide basic information for the whole tribe. In this treatment the Fabeae is considered to comprise 5 genera and c. 329 species (Fig. 57).

    Herbs (often climbing)
    Temperate, mediterranean and tropical montane grassland, shrubland and woodland
    mostly N temperate regions: Europe and Asia (c. 100 spp., principally Mediterranean and Irano-Turanian, some spp. to China, Korea and Japan) and N to E Africa (c. 5 spp.), with additional centres in N America (c. 30 spp.) and temperate S America (c. 23 spp.)

    Leguminosae, J. B. Gillett, R. M. Polhill & B. Verdcourt. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1971

    Annual or perennial herbs, mostly climbing or straggling, the stems frequently ± winged
    Leaves mostly paripinnate, the rhachis terminating in a well-developed tendril, more rarely a bristle or leaflet; leaflets in 2-few, rarely numerous, pairs or rarely absent, entire, mostly distinctly parallel-veined; petiole and rhachis sometimes dilated and leaf-like; stipules usually large and semisagittate, persistent, rarely entire
    Inflorescences axillary, racemose, or flowers solitary; bracts very small, deciduous; bracteoles absent
    Calyx 5-lobed; lobes subequal or the upper pair shorter
    Corolla small to medium-sized; standard mostly broad with a short claw; wings oblong or falcately obovate, free or attached to the blunt or shortly acute keel
    Vexillary stamen free or connate with the tube; anthers uniform
    Ovary subsessile or stipitate, few–many-ovuled; style incurved, often flattened and indurated apically and mostly bearded on the upper side, rarely glabrous; stigma terminal, capitate
    Pods linear-oblong, cylindrical or flattened
    Seeds globose or angular, sometimes flattened, smooth or rugulose; hilum short or linear; funicle with aril thinly developed.

    Leguminosae, various authors. Flora Zambesiaca 3:7. 2003

    Ovary subsessile or stipitate, few–­many-flowered; style incurved, dorsally compressed, often indurated towards the apex, mostly bearded on the upper side, or rarely glabrous; stigma capitate.
    Pods linear-oblong, terete or ± laterally compressed, dehiscent.
    Seeds globose or ellipsoid, sometimes compressed, smooth or rugulose, with a slender aril.
    Annual or perennial herbs, erect or straggling, climbing by means of tendrils.
    Stems angular or ± winged.
    Leaves paripinnate, rarely imparipinnate; rhachis terminating in a tendril or a bristle, rarely reduced to a tendril; petiole and rhachis sometimes dilated and leaf-like; leaflets usually few, inrolled in bud, rarely absent, entire; stipules foliaceous, often semi-sagittate, persistent, rarely entire.
    Flowers solitary or in axillary racemes; bracts usually minute, early caducous; bracteoles absent.
    Calyx 5-lobed, sometimes asymmetrical with the upper 2 lobes shorter.
    Corolla small to medium-sized, red, blue or yellow; standard oblong-obovate to transversely elliptic with a short broad claw; wings oblong to falcate-obovate, adherent to the keel or free; keel shorter than the wings, incurved, obtuse.
    Vexillary stamen free or connate with the staminal sheath; filament sheath truncate at the apex; anthers uniform.
    Many species are widely introduced and naturalised: used extensively as cover crops, for fodder (e.g., L. cicera L.., L. hirsutus L.. and L. sativus L.); as ornamentals (e.g., L. odoratus L. [sweet pea] , L. latifolius L. [everlasting pea] and L. sylvestrisL.) and as human food (e.g., L. sativus [grass pea, Indian pea, chickling vetch] , L. ochrus (L.) DC. and L. montanus Bernh. (with edible root tubers) and also for erosion control, as green manure and for medicine; toxins are present in some species, causing lathyrism



    Native to:

    Afghanistan, Alabama, Alaska, Albania, Alberta, Aleutian Is., Algeria, Altay, Amur, Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Argentina South, Arizona, Arkansas, Assam, Austria, Azores, Baleares, Baltic States, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, British Columbia, Bulgaria, Buryatiya, California, Canary Is., Central European Rus, Chile Central, Chile North, Chile South, China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Chita, Colombia, Colorado, Connecticut, Corse, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East Aegean Is., East European Russia, East Himalaya, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, Florida, France, Føroyar, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Idaho, Illinois, India, Indiana, Inner Mongolia, Iowa, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Irkutsk, Italy, Japan, Kamchatka, Kansas, Kazakhstan, Kentucky, Kenya, Khabarovsk, Kirgizstan, Korea, Krasnoyarsk, Kriti, Krym, Kuril Is., Laos, Lebanon-Syria, Libya, Louisiana, Madeira, Magadan, Maine, Malawi, Manchuria, Manitoba, Masachusettes, Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southwest, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Mongolia, Montana, Morocco, Myanmar, Nansei-shoto, Nebraska, Nepal, Netherlands, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Caucasus, North Dakota, North European Russi, Northwest European R, Norway, Nunavut, Ohio, Oklahoma, Ontario, Oregon, Pakistan, Palestine, Paraguay, Pennsylvania, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Primorye, Qinghai, Québec, Rhode I., Romania, Rwanda, Sakhalin, Sardegna, Saskatchewan, Sicilia, Sinai, South Dakota, South European Russi, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Tadzhikistan, Tanzania, Tennessee, Texas, Tibet, Transcaucasus, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Turkmenistan, Tuva, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Utah, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Himalaya, West Siberia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Xinjiang, Yakutskiya, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Yukon, Zaïre

    Introduced into:

    Amsterdam-St.Paul Is, Angola, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Galápagos, Guatemala, Haiti, Hawaii, Jawa, Mauritius, New Guinea, New South Wales, New Zealand North, New Zealand South, Norfolk Is., Puerto Rico, Queensland, South Australia, Sri Lanka, Tasmania, Trinidad-Tobago, Victoria, Western Australia, Windward Is., Zimbabwe

    Lathyrus L. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Aug 14, 2006 Coradin, L. [LC8525], Brazil K000931837
    Aug 14, 2006 Coradin, L. [LC8525], Brazil K000931838
    Nov 12, 2002 Klitgaard, B.B. [101], Argentina 62588.000
    Rico, L. [1508], Bolivia K000295177
    Rico, L. [1694], Armenia K000297328
    Rico, L. [2264], Syria K000764208
    Silva, J.M. [5234], Brazil K000931836
    Philippi, R.A. [s.n.], Chile K000119182 Unknown type material
    Darwin [s.n.], Argentina K000119131

    First published in Sp. Pl.: 729 (1753)

    Accepted by

    • Tutin, T.G. & al. (eds.) (1968). Flora Europaea 2: 1-469. Cambridge University Press.


    Flora Zambesiaca
    • Kupicha in Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 41: 209–244 (1983).
    • Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 326 (1754).
    • Sp. Pl.: 729 (1753)
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • L., Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 326 (1754)
    • Sp. Pl. 729 (1753)


    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

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    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
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    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

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