This volume accompanies text volume 10 published in 2010.
This volume encompasses one large plant family, namely, the Fabaceae or Leguminosae, with 1673 species in China, of which 690 are endemic. The fruits come in the form of legumes, from the Latin word for pod. The green bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), chickpea (Cicer arietinum), and soybean (Glycine max) have legumes containing seeds, also called pulses, that are of great agricultural and economic value. Beans are a staple of traditional Chinese cuisine. Clover (Trifolium repens) and lucerne (Medicago sativa) are used around the world for feeding livestock; when ploughed into the soil they act as fertilizers because of the atmospheric nitrogen fixed by the nodules in their roots. Among the ornamentals from this family native to China, the golden shower tree (Cassia fistula) is from a genus that has long been known there. Around the early ninth century, poet Li Ho wrote of its rich fragrance and, a few decades later, poet P`i Jih-hsiu described dwarf cassias as sporting leaves "the size of fists."
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