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Family Description: Solanaceae, Fabaceae & Liliaceae | Capsule course of Botany for NEET PDF Download

According to the plant taxonomists, it has been estimated that a total of 2 to 3 million plant species exists on our planet. Among them, around two lakh species are angiosperms (flowering plants), while others include gymnosperms, bryophytes, hydrophytes and other vascular and non-vascular plants. These plants are grouped into different families depending upon their characteristics.

Fabaceae, Solanaceae and Liliaceae are three families of the flowering plants. Let us know a little about these families:

1. Solanaceae Family

Solanaceae family is also known as the potato family. Around 2000 species of dicotyledonous plants belong to this family. They are present mostly in tropical, subtropical and temperate zones.

Family Description: Solanaceae, Fabaceae & Liliaceae | Capsule course of Botany for NEET

Its important characteristics are mentioned below.

Characteristics of Solanaceae Family

Following are the characteristic features of the Solanaceae family:

Vegetative Characters

  • Plants are mostly herbs, shrubs, and occasionally small trees.
  • Root System: Taproot system.
  • Stem: Stem is usually herbaceous, but can be woody, aerial, erect, cylindrical, branched, solid, or hollow, and can be either hairy or glabrous. In potato (Solanum tuberosum), the stem is underground.
  • Leaves:  Leaves are alternate, simple, rarely pinnately compound, exstipulate, and have reticulate venation.

Floral characters

  • Inflorescence: Racemose- terminal or axillary raceme; Cymose- solitary in Solanum.
  • Flower: Complete, bisexual, actinomorphic, hypogynous.
  • Calyx: Five sepals, gamosepalous (united); valvate aestivation.
  • Corolla: Five petals, gamopetalous (united), valvate aestivation.
  • Androecium: Five stamens, epipetalous; anthers basifixed.
  • Gynoecium: Bicarpellary obligately placed, syncarpous ovary that is superior, bilocular, and has a swollen placenta with many ovules, axile.
  • Fruit: Berry/ capsule.
  • Seed: Numerous, endospermous
  • Floral Formula:   Family Description: Solanaceae, Fabaceae & Liliaceae | Capsule course of Botany for NEET

Economic Importance

The economic importance of some plants belonging to the Solanaceae family are as follows:

  • These are an important source of food. E.g. tomato, brinjal and potato
  • These are important sources of spices. E.g. chilly
  • The leaves of Nicotiana tabacum are a major source of tobacco which is used for fumigation.
  • These are also used as ornamental plants. E.g. petunia
  • Plants such as belladonna and ashwagandha are also used as medicinal plants.

Family Description: Solanaceae, Fabaceae & Liliaceae | Capsule course of Botany for NEET

2. Fabaceae Family

Family Description: Solanaceae, Fabaceae & Liliaceae | Capsule course of Botany for NEET

The Fabaceae family is a large family of the plant kingdom, including several economically important plants. The family Fabaceae is also known as Leguminosae or Papilionaceae since it belongs to the pea or legume family. There are around 20,000 species of dicotyledonous Fabaceae plants widely distributed all over the world.


Characteristics of Fabaceae Family

Listed below are the morphological and floral characteristics of the Fabaceae family.

Vegetative Characters

  • Root: Dicotyledons, taproot with root nodules.
  • Stem: Erect or climber; Fabaceae includes shrubs, herbs, trees and majorly climbers.
  • Leaves: Petiolate, pinnately compound or simple; pulvinus leaf base, stipulate; reticulate venation.
  • Floral Characters
  • Inflorescence: Racemose.
  • Flower: Complete, bisexual, zygomorphic, hypogynous, bracteate/ ebracteate.
  • Calyx: Five sepals, gamosepalous; valvate or imbricate aestivation.
  • Corolla: Five petals, polypetalous, papilionaceous, vexillary aestivation.
  • Androecium: Ten stamens (9+1), diadelphous, anther dithecous.
  • Gynoecium: Superior ovary, monocarpellary, unilocular, single, short -style and flat, hairy-stigma.
  • Fruit: Legume.
  • Seed: One or more, non-endospermic.

Economic Importance

Many plants belonging to this family are economically useful. Few of them are listed below:

  • The plants of this family are unique and have root nodules which contain nitrogen-fixing symbiotic bacteria, capable of transforming atmospheric nitrogen into fixed nitrogen or ammonia.
  • Pulses like gram, moong, soya bean are the main source of food.
  • Mulethi plant is known for its medicinal value.
  • Soya bean and groundnuts are used to extract oil that is used for cooking.
  • Sunn hemp is the source of timber and fibre.
  • Indigofera is used to make dye.
  • Sesbania and Trifolium are the sources of fodder or livestock feed.
  • Lupin and sweet pea are known as ornamental plants.

Family Description: Solanaceae, Fabaceae & Liliaceae | Capsule course of Botany for NEET

3. Liliaceae Family

Family Description: Solanaceae, Fabaceae & Liliaceae | Capsule course of Botany for NEET

Liliaceae is the family of around 2500 species of perennial, herbaceous monocots. It is also known as the ‘lily family’. Its characteristics are discussed below.

Characteristics of Liliaceae Family

Following are the important characteristics of the Liliaceae family.

Vegetative Characters

  • Root: Fibrous root system.
  • Stem: Erect; Liliaceae includes perennial herbs which propagate through bulbs or rhizomes.
  • Leaves:  Alternate, simple; exstipulate; parallel venation.
  • Floral characters
  • Inflorescence: Cymose- solitary; umbellate clusters.
  • Flower: Complete, bisexual, actinomorphic; hypogynous, perianth present.
  • Perianth: Indistinctive sepal and petal; six tepals (3+3), often united tepals; valvate aestivation.
  • Androecium: Six stamens in two whorls (3+3).
  • Gynoecium: Syncarpous, tricarpellary, trilocular, superior ovary with axile placentation.
  • Fruit: Mostly Capsule and sometimes berry.
  • Seed: Endospermic seeds.

Economic Importance

The economic importance of the plants belonging to the Liliaceae family are:

  • Source of Medicine -Aloe vera, Smilax and Colchicine.
  • Ornamental Plants -Lilium, tulips, Gloriosa and Ruscus.
  • Source of food (or) Vegetables-Asparagus.
  • Bulbs of Allium cepa and the roots of various species of Smilax are used as flavouring agents.

Family Description: Solanaceae, Fabaceae & Liliaceae | Capsule course of Botany for NEET

(FAQs) Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Which plant belongs to the Solanaceae family?

The Solanaceae family includes a variety of ornamental plants like Petunia, Lycianthes, Browallia, as well as other plants such as Atropa belladonna, Mandragora, and Datura.


Q. Which vegetables are part of the Solanaceae family?

The Solanaceae family encompasses popular vegetables like potatoes, eggplant, tomato, capsicum, and chilly.


Q. What is the significance of the Fabaceae family?

The Fabaceae family, also known as leguminous plants, holds both ecological and economic importance. These plants enrich the soil with nitrogen and serve as a valuable source of protein for humans and livestock.


Q. What types of plants are classified under the Fabaceae family?

The Fabaceae family, commonly referred to as legumes, are pollinated by insects and are known for their entomophilous nature.

The document Family Description: Solanaceae, Fabaceae & Liliaceae | Capsule course of Botany for NEET is a part of the NEET Course Capsule course of Botany for NEET.
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FAQs on Family Description: Solanaceae, Fabaceae & Liliaceae - Capsule course of Botany for NEET

1. What are the common characteristics of plants in the Solanaceae family?
Ans. Plants in the Solanaceae family, also known as the nightshade family, share several common characteristics. They typically have alternate leaves, flowers with five petals, and fruits that are often berries or capsules. Many plants in this family also contain alkaloids, which can have medicinal or toxic properties.
2. Which plants belong to the Fabaceae family and what is their significance?
Ans. The Fabaceae family, also known as the legume or pea family, includes a wide range of plants such as peas, beans, lentils, and peanuts. These plants are economically significant as they provide a valuable source of protein, nitrogen fixation in the soil, and contribute to crop rotation. Additionally, some legumes are used as forage for livestock.
3. What are some common examples of plants in the Liliaceae family?
Ans. The Liliaceae family, commonly referred to as the lily family, includes various well-known plants such as lilies, tulips, onions, garlic, and asparagus. These plants are characterized by their showy flowers and often have bulbs or rhizomes as underground storage organs.
4. Are there any poisonous plants in the Solanaceae family?
Ans. Yes, there are some poisonous plants within the Solanaceae family. For example, the deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna) and the jimsonweed (Datura stramonium) contain toxic alkaloids that can cause serious harm if ingested. It is important to exercise caution and avoid consuming or handling these plants without proper knowledge or guidance.
5. How do plants in the Fabaceae family contribute to sustainable agriculture?
Ans. Plants in the Fabaceae family play a crucial role in sustainable agriculture. They have the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen through a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria in their root nodules. This nitrogen fixation process enriches the soil, reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers and promoting the growth of other crops in rotation. Additionally, legumes provide a valuable source of protein for both human and animal consumption.
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