The best known pulses cultivated for human consumption and as forage are beans, peas, lentils, lupines and soy bean. These plants have been promoted in organic farming for many years, not only because of their soil-improving properties, but also to meet consumer demand and increase the amount of local protein sources in organic fodder.
Common Botanic Features
A typical feature for the legumes family is the cygomorph (monosymmetric with only two symmetrical halves in one plane), papilionaceous flower. Its corolla consists of a banner (central, [upper], larger corolla petal), two wings (two lateral corolla petals) and one pair of keel petals (two [lower] corolla petals fused or stuck together). This boat-shaped structure encloses the androecium (stamen; usually 10 fused to a tube) and the gynoecium (pistils). Several of these papilionaceous flowers make up more or less large racemes, umbels or ears.