Source of plant family name Fabaceae

Janice M. Glime jmglime at
Sat Oct 9 19:52:16 EST 2004

The type genus for Fabaceae is Faba.  However, it appears there might be a

FABA (the old Latin name, from the same root as phago, to eat; the seeds
are esculent). Bean. ORD. Leguminosae. This genus, which contains but this
species described below, is now included under Vicia. For culture, see

FABA vulgaris (common) fl. white, with a blackish-blue silky spot in the
middle of the wings. l. thick, with two to five broad, oval mucronate
leaflets; stipules semi-sagittate, oval; tendrils of leaves almost
wanting. h. 2ft. to 3ft. As is the case with so many commonly cultivated
food plants, the origin and native country of the bean are doubtful. It
was cultivated in prehistoric times in Europe, Egypt, and Arabia; and,
according to De Candolle ("Origine des plantes cultivees"), it may be
truly native about the Caspian Sea and in North Africa. There is a variety
of this species (equina) called the Horse Bean.

UGH!  Does that mean the family name should ve Viciaceae?

 Janice M. Glime, Professor
 Department of Biological Sciences
 Michigan Technological University
 Houghton, MI 49931-1295
 jmglime at
 FAX 906-487-3167

On Sat, 9 Oct 2004, Bernard Brennan wrote:

> I understood the latest convention regarding the naming of a plant
> family requires that the name have as its root the genus name of a
> typical genus, however I am unable to locate any genus Fab... genus name
> that fits, help will be appreciated, many thanks Bernard Brennan

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