Herbs, shrubs, or trees with alternate and usually compound leaves. Flowers papilionaceous, or rarely regular. Stamens usually ten and mostly monadelphous or diadelphous. Pistil becoming in fruit a legume, from which the order takes its name. Most of the plants are innoxious; the marked exception to the rule, however, is the calabar bean.
A Manual of Organic Materia Medica and Pharmacognosy, 1917, was written by Lucius E. Sayre, B.S. Ph. M.