Agriculturally & Economically Important Legumes

Martin F. Wojciechowski

A large number of legume species are cultivated worldwide as ornamentals (in gardens, as shade trees), used as living fences and firebreaks, as soil binders, green manures, fodder for livestock, forage for honey bees, food for humans, in agroforestry and reforestation (for nitrogen fixation), as pulp for paper production, fuelwoods, timber, and as sources of chemicals (e.g., dyes, tannins), oils (industrial, food, aromatherapy), and medicines. Many of the more common ones are listed below. For more information, see Allen and Allen (1981), Duke (1992), and Graham and Vance (2003), or check out some of the WWW links provided below.

subfamily Caesalpinioideae

subfamily Mimosoideae

subfamily Papilionoideae

Information on the Internet


Allen, O. N., and E. K. Allen. 1981. The Leguminosae, A Source Book of Characteristics, Uses, and Nodulation. The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, USA.

Duke, J. A. 1992. Handbook of Legumes of Economic Importance. Plenum Press, New York, USA.

Graham, P. H., and C. P. Vance. 2003. Legumes: importance and constraints to greater use. Plant Physiology 131: 872-877.

About This Page

Martin F. Wojciechowski
Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Martin F. Wojciechowski at

All Rights Reserved.

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