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With close to 815 genera and over 19,500 species, the Leguminosae is the third largest angiosperm family after Asteraceae and Orchidaceae. Legumes are economically important food crops providing highly nutritious sources of protein and micronutrients that can greatly benefit health and livelihoods. Members of the family (beans, lentils, soya beans, chickpeas, etc.) have been domesticated alongside grasses in different areas of the world since the beginnings of agriculture and have played a key role in its early development. Legumes are also uniquely important as fodder and green manure in both temperate and tropical regions, and are used for their wood, tannins, oils and resins, in the manufacture of varnishes, paints, dyes and medicines, and in the horticultural trade. The family is morphologically, physiologically and ecologically exceptionally diverse, representing one of the most spectacular examples of evolutionary diversification in plants.