Herbaceous plant: Information

(legume family)

The fabulous Fabaceae includes trees, shrubs, herbs and vines, many with nitrogen-fixing bacterial root nodules. The leaves are alternate, usually pinnately compound or trifoliolate, and stipulate. The flowers are bisexual (hermaphroditic), in racemes, heads, umbels, or panicle inflorescence types. The calyx consists of 5 connate (fused) sepals; the corolla is made up of 5 mostly separate petals. The androecium is (except in one subfamily) composed of 10 stamens, often bundled together in a single group (monadelphous) by having their filaments joined into a tube surrounding the gynoecium or, as is more often the case, joined in two groups (diadelphous) including a set of 9 such bundled stamens, plus one wholly separate lonely little stamen standing all by itself, feeling like an outsider, and hoping that someone, anyone, would “friend” him on Facebook.” The gynoecium is unicarpellate, and the fruit is (famously) a legume.

See this pretty little flower, with bilaterally symmetric flowers of separate petals, one of which is much larger than the others. It is obviously a legume of some sort. It was rather abundant in a field.

Lovely little legume in a field in central Ohio, late spring.

The field it was growing in, late spring.

Glycine max fruitingO.K. ha ha. It’s just a soybean field. You knew that, didn’t you? But we hardly ever look closely at a soybean plant, at least not in flower. In fruit, they’re a lot more distinctive, as seen during October.

Soybean fruits in October.

…and the field these were growing in:

Autumn soybeans.

Glycine max soybeansThe soybean is a very ancient “cultigen, ” i.e., a plant that has been deliberately altered through artificial selection. It originated from a wild Asian species, Glycine soja. Although soybeans are high in protein and glycine is the name of an amino acid (the building blocks of proteins), the generic name “glycine” is actually derived from a Greek work meaning “sweet.” However, the sweet thing that prompted Linneaus to come up with that crazy name was actually the tuber of a wholly different legume –a North American vine now known as Apios americana (groundnut) –which he originally classified as Glycine apios.

Here’s the field it was growing in. Lathrus label Robinia flower Desmodium canadense

Info on Talinum

2003-07-03 13:22:27 by pro

Information I gleaned from the USDA plant database: plants.usda.gov/index.html Enter Scientific Name as Talinum
Talinum Adans. - gives you all varieties and maps of where they are present - click on a map to get information for that variety
- Talinum calycinum or parviflorum - most common varieties present in the central states from Texas to Minnesota/Nebraska.
- all varieties native to U.S.
Some common names:
Jewels of Opar (not common but a cool name, no?)
- Herbaceous Perennial, Shrub or Subshrub
- Native to the United States
- Talinum calycinum had a botanical illustration which showed a rhizhome (like an iris)
- Purslane family like Lewisia and Portulaca
- I doubt it is invasive. As a...

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Keys to the families of cultivated plants and to their herbaceous genera
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