A selection of legumes

A legume (m/) is a plant in the family Fabaceae (or Leguminosae), or the seed of such a plant (also called pulse). Legumes are grown agriculturally, primarily for human consumption, for livestock forage and silage, and as soil-enhancing green manure. Well-known legumes include alfalfa, clover, peas, chickpeas, lentils, lupin bean, mesquite, carob, soybeans, peanuts and tamarind.

A legume fruit is a simple dry fruit that develops from a simple carpel and usually dehisces (opens along a seam) on two sides. A common name for this type of fruit is a pod, although the term "pod" is also applied to a number of other fruit types, such as that of vanilla (a capsule) and of the radish (a silique).

Legumes are notable in that most of them have symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria in structures called root nodules. For that reason, they play a key role in crop rotation.


The term "pulse", as used by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), is reserved for crops harvested solely for the dry seed.[1] This excludes green beans and green peas, which are considered vegetable crops. Also excluded are seeds that are mainly grown for oil extraction (oilseeds like soybeans and peanuts), and seeds which are used exclusively for sowing forage (clovers, alfalfa). However, in common usage, these distinctions are not always clearly made, and many of the varieties used for dried pulses are also used for green vegetables, with their beans in pods while young.

Some Fabaceae, such as Scotch broom and other Genisteae, are leguminous but are usually not called legumes by farmers, who tend to restrict that term to food crops.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Peulgewas
العربية: بقل
aragonés: Legumbre
asturianu: Llegume
Bân-lâm-gú: Ngeh-kó
български: Бобови култури
català: Llegum
čeština: Luštěniny
Deutsch: Hülsenfrucht
dolnoserbski: Łušćinowy płod
eesti: Kaunvili
Ελληνικά: Όσπρια
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Scurnècia
español: Legumbre
Esperanto: Guŝo
euskara: Lekale
فارسی: حبوبات
français: Gousse
Gaeilge: Léagúm
galego: Legume
ગુજરાતી: કઠોળ
hornjoserbsce: Łušćinowy płód
Bahasa Indonesia: Kacang-kacangan
interlingua: Legumine
italiano: Baccello
Kiswahili: Jamii kunde
Latina: Legumen
latviešu: Pākšaugi
Bahasa Melayu: Kekacang
монгол: Буурцаг
नेपाल भाषा: बूबः
日本語: 豆果
norsk: Belgfrukt
norsk nynorsk: Belgfrukt
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Dukkakli don ekinlari
português: Legume
Runa Simi: Chaqallu
संस्कृतम्: राजशिम्बी
Scots: Legume
sicilianu: Vaiana
Simple English: Legume
سنڌي: دال
slovenčina: Strukovina
српски / srpski: Махунарке
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Mahuna
ไทย: ถั่ว
українська: Бобові культури
Tiếng Việt: Legume
Winaray: Legume
žemaitėška: Brondėnis augals
中文: 荚果