Flora of the Southeastern United States
2022 Edition

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Keyed in multiple places:

Key to Fabaceae, Key K: herbaceous legumes with pinnately trifoliolate leaves [subfamily Faboideae]

1 Leaflets denticulate (sometimes inconspicuously so); [tribe Trifolieae].
..2 Inflorescences elongate racemes with an axis 5-15 cm long, the flowers well-spaced along the axis, the overall inflorescence much longer than its diameter
..2 Inflorescences umbellate or headlike clusters or short racemes with an axis < 2 cm long, the flowers closely clustered, the overall inflorescence little (if at all) longer than its diameter.
....3 Legumes spirally coiled or curved, often tuberculate or prickly; stems 4-angled towards the tip
....3 Legumes straight or nearly so, never tuberculate or prickly; stems terete or flattened (2-angled) towards the tip
1 Leaflets entire (and sometimes also with 1 or 2 broad lobes), or with scattered, irregular large teeth (Pachyrhizus erosus).
......4 Main stems erect or ascending, not trailing, twining, or otherwise vine-like.
........5 Flowers not papilionaceous (the wings and keel epistemonous, arising terminally or laterally from the stamen tube), barely bilaterally symmetrical; stamens 5, monadelphous; [tribe Amorpheae]
........5 Flowers papilionaceous; stamens 10, diadelphous or monadelphous.
..........6 Plants with separate leafy and flowering stems (the flowering stems naked or nearly so of leaves).
............ 7 Standard bright red, remaining folded, 30-50 mm long; leaves hastately lobed; fruit a torulose legume, 6-20 cm long, the seeds red; [tribe Phaseoleae]
............ 7 Standard white or pink, expanded, 4-8 mm long; leaves not hastate; fruit a flattened loment, < 5 cm long, the seeds drab; [tribe Desmodieae]
..........6 Plants bearing leaves and flowers on the same stems.
............ ..8 Leaves, stems, and/or calyces glandular-punctate.
............ ....9 Corollas pink or lavender/purplish; leaflets estipellate; fruit 1-seeded, indeciscent; [tribe Psoraleae]
............ ....9 Corollas yellow; leaflets stipellate; fruit 2-many-seeded, dehiscent; [tribe Phaseoleae, subtribe Cajaninae]
............ ......10 Corollas 15-20 mm long; seeds 3-8 per fruit; fruit 4-9 cm long, constricted between each seed; [rare introduction]
............ ......10 Corollas 4-14 mm long; seeds 1-2 per fruit; fruit 1-2 cm long, with no constrictions, tapering to each end; [collectively common and widespread].
............ ..8 Leaves, stems, and calyces lacking punctate glands.
............ ........11 Leaflet blades large, at least the largest terminal leaflets on a plant > 5 cm long.
............ ..........12 Stipels absent on the petiolules of mature leaflets; stamens monadelphous.
............ ............ 13 Fruit a legume (not segmented into 1-seed dispersal units), hairy but the hairs not hooked; [plants cultivated as garden plants, rare as waifs]
............ ............ 13 Fruit a loment (separating into single-seeded segments), uncinulate (with hooked hairs, the fruits attaching to hairs or clothes as 'stick-tights'); [plants widespread, common]
............ ..........12 Stipels present, persistent; stamens diadelphous (9 and 1).
............ ............ ..14 Fruit a loment (separating into single-seeded segments), uncinulate (with hooked hairs, the fruits attaching to hairs or clothes as 'stick-tights'); [plants widespread, common]
............ ............ ..14 Fruit a legume (not segmented into 1-seed dispersal units), hairy but the hairs not hooked; [plants cultivated as crops or garden plants, rare as waifs]
............ ............ ....15 Keel of corolla coiled 1-3 turns; stipules inconspicuous; [soy beans]
............ ............ ....15 Keel of corolla not coiled; stipules conspicuous, persistent, striate; [bush green beans or lima beans]
............ ........11 Leaflet blades smaller, all on a plant < 5 cm long.
............ ............ ......16 Stipels present, persistent.
............ ............ ........17 Fruit a loment (separating into single-seeded segments), uncinulate (with hooked hairs, the fruits attaching to hairs or clothes as 'stick-tights')
............ ............ ........17 Fruit a several- to many-seeded legume, glabrous to hairy (but not uncinulate)
............ ............ ......16 Stipels absent on the petiolules of mature leaflets.
............ ............ ..........18 Fruits dehiscent, a legume with 2 or more seeds.
............ ............ ............ 19 Terminal leaflet very similar in size as the 2 lateral leaflets; banner petal prominently striate-veined
............ ............ ............ 19 Terminal leaflet 2× or more as long as the 2 lateral leaflets; banner petal evenly colored
............ ............ ..........18 Fruits indehiscent: either 1-seeded, or a loment with 2 or more one-seeded (indehiscent) segments.
............ ............ ............ ..20 Petioles fused most of length with amplexicaul stipules, the leaves thus appearing sessile or nearly so; corollas lemon to orangy yellow; flowers subsessile; fruit a loment of 2 segments, the terminal segment fertile, the lower segment either sterile or fertile
............ ............ ............ ..20 Petioles free from stipules, leaves evidently petiolate; corollas white to pink; flowers pedicellate; fruit either 1-seeded, or a loment normally with 3+ segments
............ ............ ............ ....21 Fruit a loment, with 1-3 segments; terminal leaflets 3-10 cm long, 1-1.5× as long as wide; stamens monadelphous
............ ............ ............ ....21 Fruit 1-seeded; terminal leaflets 1-5 cm long, 1.2-8× as long as wide; stamens diadelphous (9 and 1)
......4 Main stems trailing, twining, creeping, or climbing or sprawling over other vegetation.
............ ............ ............ ......22 Leaves, stems, and/or calyces glandular-punctate; corollas yellow.
............ ............ ............ ......22 Leaves, stems, and calyces lacking punctate glands; corollas yellow, pink, purplish, white, red, blue.
............ ............ ............ ........23 Leaflet blades smaller, all on a plant < 5 cm long.
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Stipels absent on the petiolules of mature leaflets.
............ ............ ............ ............ 25 Fruit a loment of 2 segments, the terminal segment fertile, the lower segment either sterile or fertile; corollas lemon to orangy yellow
............ ............ ............ ............ 25 Fruit 1-seeded; corollas pink-purplish to white, or bronze to brick-red.
............ ............ ............ ............ ..26 Corollas pink-purplish to white
............ ............ ............ ............ ..26 Corollas bronze to brick-red
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Stipels present, persistent (minute in Amphicarpaea).
............ ............ ............ ............ ....27 Fruit a loment (separating into single-seeded segments), uncinulate (with hooked hairs, the fruits attaching to hairs or clothes as 'stick-tights').
............ ............ ............ ............ ......28 Flowers in axillary or terminal racemes; leaflets rotund, broadly ovate, broadly elliptic, or narrowly elliptic, the larger > 1 cm long.
............ ............ ............ ............ ......28 Flowers in axillary clusters; leaflets broadly obovate, 0.5-1 cm long
............ ............ ............ ............ ....27 Fruit a legume, dehiscent (at least tardily), unsegmented, and with 2+ seeds.
............ ............ ............ ............ ........29 Flowers resupinate (the pedicel twisted 180 degrees), the banner 2.5-5.5 cm long and positioned lowermost.
............ ............ ............ ............ ..........30 Calyx lobes equal to or longer than the calyx tube; fruits 3-5 mm wide
............ ............ ............ ............ ..........30 Calyx lobes shorter than the calyx tube; fruits 5-8 mm wide
............ ............ ............ ............ ........29 Flowers not resupinate, the banner 0.7-2.5 cm long and positioned uppermost.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 31 Stipules caducous
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 31 Stipules persistent, sometimes conspicuous, sometimes striate.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..32 Keel petal and the included style straight to gently upcurved; stems very slender, < 0.75 mm in diameter
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..32 Keel petal and the included style either strongly curved upwards 90-180 degrees, or even more extensively coiled (asymmetrically and spirally) in towards the flower center; stems slender to thicker, > 0.75 mm in diameter.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....33 Keel petal and the included style strongly curved upwards 90-180 degrees; corollas yellow or pink to lavender (or whitish).
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......34 Corollas pink to lavender (or whitish); corolla keel usually somewhat twisted, asymmetrical; [widespread in our region]
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......34 Corollas yellow; corolla keel symmetrical; [mainly outer Coastal Plain]
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....33 Keel petal and the included style extensively coiled > 180 degrees (asymmetrically and spirally) in towards the flower center; corollas pink, purple, maroon, purple-black (or whitish).
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........35 Peduncles long, the flowers borne in clusters on a raceme axis shorter than the peduncle; plants glabrate to villous, the hairs not hooked
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........35 Peduncles short, the flowers scattered along a (sometimes branched) raceme axis, the raceme axis about as long as or longer than the peduncle; plants uncinulate pubescent (use 20× magnification, or touch the plant for the 'tacky' feel)
............ ............ ............ ........23 Leaflet blades large, at least the largest terminal leaflets on a plant > 5 cm long.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........36 Stipels absent on the petiolules of mature leaflets; stamens monadelphous
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........36 Stipels present, persistent (minute in Amphicarpaea); stamens diadelphous (9 and 1) or monadelphous (Pueraria).
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 37 Stamens monadelphous; robust herbaceous vine with stems to 30 m long; flowers purple, when fresh smelling like artificial grape flavoring.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 37 Stamens diadelphous (9 and 1); herbacous vines with stems usually < 5 m long; flowers various in color, not 'grapy' in odor.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..38 Flowers resupinate (the pedicel twisted 180 degrees), the banner (standard) petal lowermost; banner (standard) 25-50 mm long, much larger than the other petals.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....39 Calyx lobes equal to or longer than the calyx tube; fruits 3-5 mm wide
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....39 Calyx lobes shorter than the calyx tube; fruits 5-8 mm wide
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..38 Flowers not resupinate, the banner (standard) uppermost; banner (standard) < 25 mm long, or if up to 30 mm then not much llonger than the other petals.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......40 Fruit a loment (separating into single-seeded segments), uncinulate (with hooked hairs, the fruits attaching to hairs or clothes as 'stick-tights')
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......40 Fruit a several- to many-seeded legume, glabrous to hairy (but not uncinulate).
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........41 Keel incurved < 90 (-120) degrees; style glabrous or pubescent.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........42 Stipules inconspicuous or obsolescent.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 43 Leaflets coarsely toothed; roots tuberous
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 43 Leaflets with entire margins (sometimes with 1-2 rounded lobes); roots slender
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..44 Corolla 3-4 cm long; fruits constricted between the seeds; fruits with stinging hairs
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..44 Corolla < 2 cm long; fruits constricted or not; fruits glabrous or hairy, the hairs not stinging.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....45 Bracteoles below the calyx persistent; ventral suture of the fruit bumpy-nodose; style bearded
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....45 Bracteoles caducous; ventral suture of the fruit not bumpy-nodose; style glabrous.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......46 Leaflets (2-) 4-8 cm long, 0.8-1.5 cm wide, 5-6× as long as wide; leaflet apices acute to obtuse; fruits not flanged or winged
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......46 Leaflets 6-14 cm long, 4-10 cm wide, 1-1.3× as long as wide; leaflet apices strongly acuminate; fruits with a flange or wing along the ventral suture
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........42 Stipules persistent and conspicuous.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........47 Legume quadrangular in ×-section, 4-winged
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........47 Legume circular, elliptic, or oblong in ×-section, not winged.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........48 Flowers clustered 3 or more at the inflorescence nodes; upper calyx lobes fused.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........48 Flowers arrayed differently; upper calyx lobes separate.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 49 Keel petal and the included style straight to gently upcurved; stems very slender, < 0.75 mm in diameter
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 49 Keel petal and the included style strongly curved upwards 90-180 degrees; stems slender to thicker, > 0.75 mm in diameter
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........41 Keel petal and the included style either strongly curved upwards 90-180 degrees, or even more extensively coiled (asymmetrically and spirally) in towards the flower center; style or stigma pubescent.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..50 Plants uncinulate pubescent (use 20× magnification, or touch the plant for the 'tacky' feel)
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..50 Plants glabrate to villous, the hairs not hooked.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....51 Keel petal and the included style strongly curved upwards 90-180 degrees
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......52 Corolla keel symmetrical; [mainly outer Coastal Plain]
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......52 Corolla keel usually somewhat twisted, asymmetrical; [widespread in our region]
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....51 Keel petal and the included style even more extensively coiled (asymmetrically and spirally) in towards the flower center.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........53 Corolla 2.5-4 cm long, the wings about as long as the other petals; leaflets not lobed
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........53 Corolla 1.5-2 cm long, the wing petals longer than the other petals; leaflets lobed

Key to Hylodesmum

1 Stems dimorphic, the flowering stem normally lacking leaves (rarely with leaves), the sterile stem with a subverticillate cluster of 3-7 leaves near the top; pedicels 10-20 mm long
1 Stems monomorphic, bearing both leaves and flowers, the leaves either subverticillate or not; pedicels 2-10 mm long.
..2 Leaves subverticillate, clustered; leaflets conspicuously and strongly acuminate, 5-10 cm long; flowers usually distinctly pink or pink-purple; inflorescence 3-8 dm long, elongate, large, and conspicuous, much exceeding the leaves
..2 Leaves alternate, scattered; leaflets acute to slightly acuminate, 3-7 cm long; flowers white; inflorescence 1-2 dm long, small and inconspicuous, often partly obscured by the leaves