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Genus Ornithopus Family Fabaceae
Subfamily Faboideae

Description: Annual herbs.

Leaves imparipinnate; stipulate; stipels absent.

Inflorescences axillary, pedunculate clusters or umbels; pedicels minute; bracts leafy when present, bracteoles usually present. Calyx campanulate, teeth ± equal or upper 2 partly fused, teeth shorter than tube. Standard oblong to circular; wings ± oblong; keel ± straight, apex obtuse, shorter than wings. Stamens diadelphous, some filaments dilated towards apex; anthers uniform. Style inflexed; stigma capitate.

Pods terete, or linear and flat, straight or curved, reticulate, usually separating into 1-seeded articles; seeds without aril.


Distribution and occurrence: World: 10 species, southern Europe, Canary Is., Mediterranean, western Asia, tropical Africa, South America. Australia: 3 species (naturalized), Qld, N.S.W., Vic., W.A.

Text by C. Gardner
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Bracts subtending flower heads absent or minute; plants glabrous to sparsely pubescentOrnithopus pinnatus
Bracts subtending flower heads leafy, 5–22 mm long, pinnate; plants pubescent2
2Flowers yellow; pod strongly curved, not or scarcely constricted between the articles; stems usually not branchedOrnithopus compressus
Flowers pink or white; pod straight or slightly curved, distinctly constricted between the articles; stems usually branched
                       Back to 1
Ornithopus sativus

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