Floral Formula of Fabaceae


Floral Formula of Family Fabaceae

The floral formula states the structure of a flower utilizing numbers, letters and other symbols. The information provided by the floral formula can be very well represented by the floral diagram. The best quality of the floral formula is that it is unique to a family of plants or it can be made more specific for a particular species as well and it becomes the symbol for that particular family/species of flowering plants.

Floral Formula: A Semi-Technical Description of Flowering Plant

To describe various morphological features such as the habit, diverse vegetative characteristics like roots, stems and leaves, and floral characteristics and floral parts in a brief, simple and scientific way that too in a proper sequence, the floral formula is used. Floral diagrams can be considered as the pictorial manifestation of the floral formula. The one advantage of the floral diagram is that it also provides information regarding the relationship between various parts of the plant.

The floral formula of family Fabaceae is given by % ⚥ K(5) C1+2+(2) A(9)+1 G1.

Even though the above-given floral formula of Fabaceae might seem just a bunch of symbols at first to you, it will seem fairly easy once you understand what these symbols mean. To understand the symbols, let us first get to know about the description of flowering plants and later on, it will be easier for you to comprehend the floral formula of the Fabaceae family.

As discussed above, let’s have a look at the various symbols used in a floral formula.

Various Symbols Used in a Floral Formula


Respective Meaning in Floral Formula









A, G

Androecium, Gynoecium

G, Ḡ

Superior Ovary, Inferior Ovary

♂, ♀, ⚥

Male plant, Female plant, Bisexual plant

%, ⊕

Zygomorphic plant, Actinomorphic plant

Using these symbols, the floral formula describes the organs and their attributes for a certain flowering plant which is indicated by the letters and the numbers provide the counts of the different organs. If an organ is absent, then the "0" is written in the subscript or the symbol for the organ is omitted from the formula and if the number is "many" (ranging from 10 - 12), then the symbol "∞" is used. Another symbol that is a very common part of any given floral formula is "+" which is used for the representation of the groups of units or whorls.

So, let's say that you find the expression K3+3 in a floral formula, then the takeaway information for you is that the given calyx has six free sepals and is organized as two separate whorls. Based upon these attributes of the symbols, you can get a very good idea about the floral characteristics from any given floral formula. Now that you are equipped with the features of the symbolism of floral formula let's understand the floral formula of the family Fabaceae. As a general rule of thumb, it will be beneficial for you to understand that the floral formula is always written in outside-in format, i.e., Bracteoles → Perianth or Sepals and Petals → Stamens → Carpels → Ovules.

Floral Formula of Fabaceae

The Fabaceae family is a family of legumes and is a type of angiosperm. They are one of the most common angiosperms and are spread all over the world.

You already know from above the floral formula of the Fabaceae family. It is given as - % ⚥  K(5) C1+2+(2) A(9)+1 G1. So, from this formula, the information regarding the floral characteristics of the Fabaceae family is as follows:

  • %: Zygomorphic plant.

  • ⚥: Bisexual plant.

  • K(5): Calyx with five sepals which are fused together and hence are called gamosepalous.

  • C1+2+(2): Corolla with five petals, consisting of a posterior standard, two lateral wings, two anterior ones forming a keel (enclosing stamens and pistil).

  • A(9)+1: Androecium, in this case,  is formed of ten stamens. They are diadelphous i.e. they are joined partially into two structures.

  • G1: Gynoecium consists of one or more pistils. Here, the pistil consists of one superior ovary, one style, and a single carpel.

Floral Diagram of Fabaceae Family

Based upon the floral formula of Fabaceae family, the floral diagram of Fabaceae is given below:

(Image will be Updated soon)

When you go through the floral characters, which are clearly demonstrated by the floral formula of Fabaceae, and then study the floral diagram of Fabaceae, you can clearly see that the diagram is the exact pictorial representation of the formula - the five sepals forming the calyx, the five petals forming the corolla consisting of a posterior standard, two lateral wings, two anterior ones forming a keel (enclosing stamens and pistil), the ten stamens fused into two androecial structures and one superior ovary.

Thus, it is safe to say that one can gather decent amounts of facts from a given floral formula and can be exactly portrayed by the floral diagram. In the given context, the floral formula of family Fabaceae depicts the floral characters in a scientific and factual manner and the floral diagram of Fabaceae is an exact pictorial characterization of the same.

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is in the Floral Formula?

A floral formula is a scientific notation for stating the floral characteristics of various flowering families of plants especially angiosperms. It is formed from five symbols from left to right: Floral symmetry → Number of sepals → Number of petals → Number of Stamens → Number of Carpels.

2. Is Fabaceae Actinomorphic?

No, the flowers in the family of Fabaceae are zygomorphic i.e. they have one plane of symmetry rather than radial symmetry which is for any actinomorphic flower. This quality is shown by the “%” symbol in the floral formula of Fabaceae family.

3. What is the meaning of Fabaceae?

Flowering legume and pea plants make up the majority of the Fabaceae family. After Asteraceae, the aster family, and Orchidaceae, the orchid family, Fabaceae is the third-largest flowering plant family. Around 18,000 species and 400 genera of blooming leguminous plants make up the Fabaceae flowering plant family. Several commonly grown plants are members of this plant family. This plant family includes trees, herbs, vines, and shrubs that are native to every continent.

4. List out the economic importance of Fabaceae?

The Floral Fabaceae has many economic importance and advantages; some of them are listed below:

  • Moong, bean, arhar dal, masoor dal, gramme, soybean, sem, and other plants provided pulses, which is highly beneficial for human consumption.

  • Edible oil can be found in a variety of plants, including peanuts, soybeans, and other legumes. Edible oil is an important aspect of cooking food.

  • Indigo is a common dye that we obtain from Indigofera. 

  • Sunn hemp, for example, is a plant that produces fibers.

  • Medicinal characteristics can be found in a wide range of plants. Mulethi, for example, is an excellent cough treatment.

  • Some of the species, such as Sesbania, Lupinus, sweet pea, and others, are utilized as ornamentals.

5. Explain how to write the Floral Formulas.

Begin by writing the formula with bract and bracteole, then move on to flower symmetry and sexuality, and finally the floral parts – calyx, corolla, androecium, and gynoecium. After matching symbols of the floral portion such as K (calyx), C (corolla), A (androecium), and G (gynoecium), figures such as (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) are used to represent the numbers of parts of each structure (gynoecium).

If the flower's components are fused, the number value is inserted in the bracket; if the parts are free, the value is left alone. If the structure is bilabiate, the number of pieces is divided into two numbers based on upper and lower lip sections.

6. List out the parts of the Fabaceae family.

  • Plants can be mesophytes, xerophytes, or heliophytes, depending on their habitat.

  • Fabaceae includes shrubs, trees, and a wide range of annual and perennial herbaceous plants.

  • In their root nodules, they have nitrogen-fixing symbiotic bacteria (Rhizobium).

  • Herbaceous or woody stem. The stem can be either upright or climber.

  • Leaf - Alternate leaves with reticulate venation are typically simple or pinnately compound.

  • Racemose inflorescences are the most common.

  • Flower - Generally, the flower is pentamerous and hypogynous.

  • Calyx - Gamosepalous, with valvate or imbricate aestivation and five sepals.

  • Papilionaceous and polypetalous petals with vexillary aestivation make up the corolla.

  • Androecium has ten stamens and is diadelphous. Dithecous anthers are anthers having two lobes.

  • Gynoecium - Each locule has a large number of ovules. There is only one curved style in it.

  • Seeds have two cotyledons and are non-endospermic.

  • Pollination - This family's members are primarily pollinators.