With somewhere around 270 species in Malaysia alone and nearly unparalled diversity in most other plant families, Fabaceae makes up one of the largest and most important groups of plants found in this part of the world. Such a large family has provided a staggering number of useful products in Malaysia, but the three most common uses are as ornamentaion, timber, and food. The genus Amherstia is widely planted throughout South East Asia and is thought by many to be one of the most beautiful flowers in the world. On a more practical note, though, Fabaceae continues to be exported and used as an exotic timber all throughout the world. Some of the more common products include the beautiful rosewood, and the incredibly long lasting and durable iron wood. Finally, and possibly most importantly, Fabaceae is an economically valuable family due it's most widely recognizable feature, the bean pods it produces as seed. These unique seed pods, known as legumes, make up a wide variety of foods common in all parts of the world including the peas, beans, and lentils.
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