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Legume, any of nearly 17,000 species of plant of the pulse or pea family (Leguminosae) including peas, beans, lentils, soybeans, and peanuts, fodder plants such as clover, alfalfa, and cowpeas, and hardwoods such as ebony, locust, mahogany, and rosewood. Legumes are widely distributed and variable in growth. The species are distinguished by their flowers, usually bilaterally symmetrical blooms, and by their fruits, seed pods with 2 splitting sides.

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21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Lange, Dorothea to Lilac