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Plants of Economic Importance

Last updated 4 months ago

  • 26180_88_88 Plantae > Asteraceae

    Helianthus tuberosus

    Jerusalem Artichoke

    "Jerusalem artichoke is grown primarily for tubers which can be eaten fresh or raw, cooked in appetizing ways similar to Irish potatoes, or pickled. Tubers are used to fatten cattle, sheep and hogs. Stems and leaves are rich in fats, protein and pectin, and make good forage and silage. Jerusalem artichoke is a suitable crop in any soil and climate where corn will grow. It survives in poor soil and in areas as cold as Alaska. It tolerates hot to sub-zero temperatures."

    Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished: Helianthus tuberosus L.

    Sort value: Asteraceae

  • 34796_88_88 Plantae > Brassicaceae

    Brassica oleracea

    Wild Cabbage

    Brassica oleracea has many edible varieties including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, collard greens, Brussel sprouts, kale, and kohlrabi.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C., "Twenty-Five Economically Important Plant Families"

    Sort value: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)

  • 07359_88_88 Plantae > Brassicaceae

    Brassica rapa

    Field Mustard

    Brassica rapa has an edible taproot and edible leaves, it is commonly cultivated as a vegetable under the name "turnip."

    Sort value: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)

  • 55080_88_88 Plantae > Brassicaceae

    Brassica napus

    Oilseed Rape, Rutabaga, Siberian Kale

    Brassica nappus has an edible taproot known as the vegetable "rutabaga," but it is also the source of rape seed oil, the world's third most important oil seed crop.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C., "Twenty-Five Economically Important Plant Families."

    Sort value: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)

  • 19151_88_88 Plantae > Brassicaceae

    Raphanus sativus

    Garden Radish

    Raphanus sativus is the source of the edible taproots diakon and raddish.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. "Twenty-five Economically Important Plant Families"

    Sort value: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)

  • 36106_88_88 Plantae > Brassicaceae

    Lepidium meyenii

    Maca

    Lepidium meyenii is known as Maca and cultivated as a crop in the Andes.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. "Twenty-five Economically Important Plant Families."

    Sort value: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)

  • 13063_88_88 Plantae > Brassicaceae

    Brassica nigra

    Black Mustard

    Brassica nigra is one source of a key ingridient for the condiment mustard.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. "Twenty-five Economically Important Plant Families."

    Sort value: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)

  • 04426_88_88 Plantae > Brassicaceae

    Sinapis alba

    White Mustard

    Sinapis alba is one source of the key ingridient for the condiment mustard.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. "Twenty-five Economically Important Plant Families."

    Sort value: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)

  • 41244_88_88 Plantae > Brassicaceae

    Armoracia rusticana

    Horseradish

    Armoracia rusticana is the source of the condiment horseraddish.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. "Twenty-five Economically Important Plant Families"

    Sort value: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)

  • 96749_88_88 Plantae > Brassicaceae

    Eutrema japonicum

    Wasabi

    Eutrema japonicum, is also known as Eutrema wasabi, and the source of the condiment wasabi.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. "Twenty-five Economically Important Plant Families"

    Sort value: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)

  • 97069_88_88 Plantae > Brassicaceae

    Nasturtium officinale

    Watercress

    Nasturtium officinale is also known as watercress. It has edible leaves and is cultivated as a vegetable.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. "Twenty-Five Economically Important Plant Families."

    Sort value: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)

  • 49080_88_88 Plantae > Convolvulaceae

    Ipomoea batatas

    Sweet Potato

    "Cultivated mainly for the tuber, used as vegetable, eaten boiled, baked fried, or dried and ground into flour to make biscuits, bread, and other pastries. Tubers also dehydrated in chips, canned, cooked and frozen, creamed and used as pie fillings, much like pumpkin. Leafy tops eaten as vegetable and sold in markets in Malaysia. Greatly esteemed as feed for farm animals; with 3 kg green sweet potatoes equivalent to 1 kg of corn, with a food value rated 95–100% that of corn. Dry vines have feed value which compares favorably with alfalfa hay as forage."

    Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished: Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.

    Sort value: Convolvulaceae

  • 26572_88_88 Plantae > Convolvulaceae

    Turbina corymbosa

    Christmasvine

    Turbina corymbosa, commonly known as olouqui, is high in alkaloids including the alkaloid d-Lysergic acid amide to d-lysergic acid diethylamide, which is commonly abreviated as LSD.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. "Twenty-Five Economically Important Plant Families."

    Sort value: Convolvulaceae

  • 55484_88_88 Plantae > Convolvulaceae

    Ipomoea tricolor

    Pearly Gates

    Is rich in alkaloids as with many other members of the family. Also known as badoh negro.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Convolvulaceae

  • 62668_88_88 Plantae > Convolvulaceae

    Ipomoea

    Morning-glory

    Like the genus Convovulus, this genus contains species that are often significant weeds in agricultural fields but which are sometimes cultivated for ornamental purposes.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Convolvulaceae

  • 62668_88_88 Plantae > Convolvulaceae

    Convolvulus

    Bindweed

    Like the genus Ipomoea, this genus contains species which are significant agricultural weeds but which are also sometimes cultivated as ornamental purposes.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Convolvulaceae

  • 74897_88_88 Plantae > Convolvulaceae

    Evolvulus

    Dwarf Morning-glory

    Some species of the genus Evolvus are popularly cultivated for ornamental purposes.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Convolvulaceae

  • 22777_88_88 Plantae > Convolvulaceae

    Jacquemontia

    Clustervine

    Some species of the genus Jacquemontia are popular as ornamental plants.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Convolvulaceae

  • 76987_88_88 Plantae > Cucurbitaceae

    Cucumis melo

    Melon

    Cucumis melo is the species of melon from which the popular fruits cantaloupe and honey dew are derived.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Cucurbitaceae

  • 70410_88_88 Plantae > Cucurbitaceae

    Cucumis sativus

    Garden Cucumber

    Cucumis sativus is commonly known as cucumber--a popular and widely farmed vegetable.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Cucurbitaceae

  • 18627_88_88 Plantae > Cucurbitaceae

    Citrullus lanatus

    Watermelon

    Citrullus lanatus is commonly known as watermelon, the plant is widely agriculturally cultivated for its edible fruit.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Cucurbitaceae

  • 20565_88_88 Plantae > Cucurbitaceae

    Sechium edule

    Chayote

    Sechium edule, also known as Chayote, is a New World tropical plant cultivated for its edible fruit.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Cucurbitaceae

  • 58036_88_88 Plantae > Cucurbitaceae

    Cyclanthera pedata

    Achocha

    Cyclanthera pedata is commonly known by the name Achocha, the plant is cultivated in the New World tropics for its edible fruit.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Cucurbitaceae

  • 14028_88_88 Plantae > Cucurbitaceae

    Momordica charantia

    Bitter Melon

    Momordica charantia is a bitter melon eaten in as a vegetable in Asia. It is eaten raw and cooked and is believed to be good for skin. It is commonly found in Asian markets. It has also been shown to have effects in treating diabetes.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.
    personal observation

    Sort value: Cucurbitaceae

  • 43072_88_88 Plantae > Cucurbitaceae

    Luffa

    Luffa

    Mature fruits found in the genus Luffa are the source of loofa vegetable sponges. Which are commonly sold as a bathing accessory.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Cucurbitaceae

  • 80249_88_88 Plantae > Cucurbitaceae

    Lagenaria siceraria

    Bottle Gourd

    The fruits of the species Lagenaria siceraria are used as bottle gourds when dried.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Cucurbitaceae

  • 04357_88_88 Plantae > Cucurbitaceae

    Cucurbita

    Squash

    The genus Cucurbita is the source of pumpkins, squashes and zucchini. Among the species which are most agriculturally important are Cucurbita argyrosperma, Cucurbita maxima, Cucurbita moschata and Cucurbita pepo, they are the sources of the most common and widely grown pumpkin, squash and zucchini crops.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Cucurbitaceae

  • 10334_88_88 Plantae > Cucurbitaceae

    Fevillea cordifolia

    Antidote Caccoon

    The seeds of this plant are a potential oil crop.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Cucurbitaceae

  • 94538_88_88 Plantae > Dioscoreaceae

    Dioscorea alata

    Water Yam

    "This member of the yam family (Dioscoreaceae) produces edible underground tubers. (Though most yams contain an acrid component, cooking makes them edible.) The large underground tubers of winged yam can weigh up to 100 pounds. Like air potato, winged yam also produces large numbers of aerial tubers, which are potato-like growths attached to the stems. These grow into new plants. Dioscorea species are cultivated for their edible tubers in West Africa where they are important commodities. Uncultivated forms (as in Florida) however are reported to be bitter and even poisonous. Dioscorea varieties, containing the steroid diosgenin, are a principal material used in the manufacture of birth-control pills. Research has shown that winged yam has antifungal properties."

    Source: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) Extension: Winged Yam

    Sort value: Dioscoreaceae

  • 79453_88_88 Plantae > Dioscoreaceae

    Dioscorea

    Yams

    This genus contains several species of tubers which are food staples for tropical cultures including D. alata, D. bulbifera, D. cayenensis, D. dumetorum, D. esculenta, D. galbis, D. hispida, D. opposita, D. pentaphylla, D. rotundata and D. trifida. D. mexicana and other mexican species were the source of diosgenin, which was used to synthesize progesterone for the first synthetic birth control pills.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Dioscoreaceae

  • 69382_88_88 Plantae > Dioscoreaceae

    Dioscorea mexicana

    Yam

    D. mexicana, along with other mexican species, were the source of diosgenin, which was used to synthesize progesterone for the first synthetic birth control pills.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Dioscoreaceae

  • 69134_88_88 Plantae > Euphorbiaceae

    Manihot esculenta

    Cassava

    Cassava is a perennial woody shrub, grown as an annual. Cassava is a major source of low cost carbohydrates for populations in the humid tropics. The largest producer of cassava is Brazil, followed by Thailand, Nigeria, Zaire and Indonesia. Production in Africa and Asia continues to increase, while that in Latin America has remained relatively level over the past 30 years. Thailand is the main exporter of cassava with most of it going to Europe. It was carried to Africa by Portuguese traders from the Americas. It is a staple food in many parts for western and central Africa and is found throughout the humid tropics. The world market for cassava starch and meal is limited, due to the abundance of substitutes.

    Source: New Crop FactSHEET: Cassava

    Sort value: Euphorbiaceae

  • 79145_88_88 Plantae > Euphorbiaceae

    Cnidoscolus aconitifolius

    Treadsoftly

    Cnidoscolus aconitifolius leaves are sources of vegetables.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Euphorbiaceae

  • 82015_88_88 Plantae > Euphorbiaceae

    Cnidoscolus aconitifolius subsp. aconitifolius

    Chaya

    The leaves of this plant are sources of vegetables.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Euphorbiaceae

  • 95511_88_88 Plantae > Euphorbiaceae

    Caryodendron orinocense

    Tacay Nut

    This is an Amazonian specie whose edible seeds have potential for commercial development.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Euphorbiaceae

  • 63174_88_88 Plantae > Euphorbiaceae

    Aleurites moluccanus

    Candle Nut Tree

    Aleurites molucanna is a significant source of oil, specifically tung oil.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Euphorbiaceae

  • 98869_88_88 Plantae > Euphorbiaceae

    Vernicia fordii

    Tungoil Tree

    Veronica fordii is a significant source of oil.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Euphorbiaceae

  • 87518_88_88 Plantae > Euphorbiaceae

    Ricinus communis

    Castor Bean

    Ricinus communis is a significant source of oil and is cultivated for the production of castor oil.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Euphorbiaceae

  • 78000_88_88 Plantae > Euphorbiaceae

    Euphorbia antisyphilitica

    Candelilla Wax

    Euphorbia antisyphilitica is a significant source of wax.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Euphorbiaceae

  • 43115_88_88 Plantae > Euphorbiaceae

    Triadica sebifera

    Chinese Tallow

    An important source of wax.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Euphorbiaceae

  • 21687_88_88 Plantae > Euphorbiaceae

    Hevea brasiliensis

    Pará Rubber Tree

    This tree is extremely valuable to humans, it is the source of latex and natural rubber and is the most economically important crop of the genus Hevea. It is grown on monoculture crop plantations mostly in South America and some parts of Africa.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Euphorbiaceae

  • 12950_88_88 Plantae > Euphorbiaceae

    Croton

    Perennial Croton Species

    The genus Croton contains the species Croton lecheri which is medically important to many indigenous people of South America. The sap is used in traditional South American medicine, both internally and externally, to treat a variety of ailments including: cancer, flesh wounds, fractures, hemorrhoids, intestinal fevers, inflamed or infect gums, as an anti-viral for respiratory and stomach viruses, HIV, in vaginal baths before and after childbirth, as a vaginal douche, for hemorrhaging after childbirth, for skin disorders, and for mouth, throat, intestinal and stomach ulcers. Much scientific investigation into the efficacy of C. lecheri sap was done from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s and pharmaceutical patents have since been taken out on related and derivative products. It has been scientifically confirmed to increase the healing rate of skin wounds in rats due to active ingredients such as taspine. It is also an antioxidant and has been shown to have inhibitory effects on the growth of gastrointestinal cancer and anti-mutagenic effects on a myelogenous leukemia cell line in test tubes.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.
    James A. Duke, 1997 "The Green Pharmacy: New Discoveries in Herbal Remedies for Common Diseases and Conditions from the World's Foremost Authority on Healing Herbs." Rodale.
    Leslie Taylor. 2005. "The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs: A Guide to Understanding and Using Herbal Medicinals." Square One Publishers.

    Sort value: Euphorbiaceae

  • 34501_88_88 Plantae > Euphorbiaceae

    Homalanthus nutans

    Mamala Tree

    The AIDS drug prostratin was developed from this plant as a result of leads obtained from Paul Cox's work in Samoa.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Euphorbiaceae

  • 86351_88_88 Plantae > Euphorbiaceae

    Euphorbia pulcherrima

    Poinsettia

    A notable ornamental, it is extremely popular in North America and sells as a winter plant associated with the winter holidays.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Euphorbiaceae

  • 01318_88_88 Plantae > Euphorbiaceae

    Croton lechleri

    Dragon's Blood

    Croton lecheri is medically important to many indigenous people of South America. The sap is used in traditional South American medicine, both internally and externally, to treat a variety of ailments including: cancer, flesh wounds, fractures, hemorrhoids, intestinal fevers, inflamed or infect gums, as an anti-viral for respiratory and stomach viruses, HIV, in vaginal baths before and after childbirth, as a vaginal douche, for hemorrhaging after childbirth, for skin disorders, and for mouth, throat, intestinal and stomach ulcers. Much scientific investigation into the efficacy of C. lecheri sap was done from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s and pharmaceutical patents have since been taken out on related and derivative products.

    References:
    • James A. Duke, 1997 "The Green Pharmacy: New Discoveries in Herbal Remedies for Common Diseases and Conditions from the World's Foremost Authority on Healing Herbs." Rodale.
    • Leslie Taylor. 2005. "The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs: A Guide to Understanding and Using Herbal Medicinals." Square One Publishers.
    • Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Euphorbiaceae

  • 43196_88_88 Plantae > Fabaceae

    Glycine max

    Soybean

    Soybean seeds furnish one of the world's most important sources of oil and protein. Unripe seeds are eaten as vegetable and dried seeds eaten whole, split or sprouted. Processed they give soy milk, a valuable protein supplement in infant feeding which also provides curds and cheese. Soy sauce made from the mature fermented beans, and soy is an ingredient in other sauces.

    Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished: Glycine max (L.) Merr.

    Sort value: Fabaceae

  • 44195_88_88 Plantae > Fabaceae

    Phaseolus vulgaris

    Common Bean

    "Common bean is most widely cultivated of all beans in temperate regions, and widely cultivated in semitropical regions. In temperate regions the green immature pods are cooked and eaten as a vegetable. Immature pods are marketed fresh, frozen or canned, whole, cut or french-cut. Mature ripe beans, variously called navy beans, white beans, northern beans, or pea beans, are widely consumed. In lower latitudes, dry beans furnish a large portion of the protein needs of low and middle class families."

    Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished: Phaseolus vulgaris L.

    Sort value: Fabaceae

  • 11969_88_88 Plantae > Fabaceae

    Lens culinaris

    Lentil

    "The domestication of Lens culinaris formed an important part of the agricultural revolution in the Neolithic, along with Wheat and Barley. Although the amount harvested per unit area for Lentil is less than for Wheat and Barley, the high protein content (25%) of Lentil seeds makes them a highly nutritious (and tasty) food source."

    Source: Biodiversity Explorer: Lens culinaris (Lentil)

    Sort value: Fabaceae

  • 53279_88_88 cellular organisms > Fabaceae

    Mimosoideae

    The species with in the Igna tribe of Mimosoideae are tree legumes that are cultivated for their edible fruit.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C. 2007. Chapter 3. Twenty-five Important Plant Families. B.C. Bennett, editor. UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. http://eolss.net.

    Sort value: Fabaceae

  • 30607_88_88 Plantae > Fabaceae

    Phaseolus

    Bean

    Many species of this genus yield commonly eaten beans, a significant source of non-animal protein for humans. Commonly eaten species include: P. acutifolius, P. coccineus, P. lunatus and P. vulgaris.

    References:
    Bennett, B.C., 2007. Twenty-Five Economically Important Plant Families.

    Sort value: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)