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Having a bilaterally symmetrical corolla somewhat resembling a butterfly, characteristic of certain plants of the pea family such as a sweet pea.

[Latin pāpiliō, pāpiliōn-, butterfly; see pavilion + -aceous.]


shaped or in the form of a butterfly


(pəˌpɪl i əˈneɪ ʃəs)

having an irregular corolla shaped like a butterfly, as the pea and other leguminous plants.
[1660–70; < Latin pāpiliōn- (s. of pāpiliō) butterfly + -aceous]
References in classic literature ?
Many flowers, on the other hand, have their organs of fructification closely enclosed, as in the great papilionaceous or pea-family; but in several, perhaps in all, such flowers, there is a very curious adaptation between the structure of the flower and the manner in which bees suck the nectar; for, in doing this, they either push the flower's own pollen on the stigma, or bring pollen from another flower.
The current research work is designed to find the taxonomic diversity and the use of palynological data for the characterization of the papilionaceous flora of Shishi Koh Valley Chitral.
Germination response of some wild papilionaceous seeds of various action spectra.
The vascular anatomy of the flower in the Papilionaceous Leguminosae, I.