The Pea Key

The legume family Fabaceae is one of the most diverse in the world with more than 19,000 species, which are usually recognised by their pod-shaped fruit (peas and beans). Faboideae is its largest subfamily and is usually recognised by the pea-shaped flowers. The flowers of Vandasina retusa are typical of the Pea subfamily. The modified petals are known as the standard, wings and keel (comprising two fused petals that enclose the reproductive organs). In Australia, there are more than 1500 pea-flowered species, encompassing a diversity of life-forms from herbs and shrubs to vines and trees. Peas can be found in virtually every habitat.