Trees or shrubs, rarely herbs. Leaves bipinnate or pinnate, rarely simple, alternate; stipules usually present, caducous. Flowers usually bisexual, regular, in racemes or spikes. Sepals 5, usually free. Petals 5, free; the posterior one imbricate inside the two adjacent ones. Stamens usually 10, some often reduced to staminodes, often dehiscing by terminal pores, ± perigynous. Ovary superior, 1-locular; placenta marginal; ovules several; style simple. Fruit a legume, often with transverse partitions. 150 gen., trop. to warm temp.