This family was known as Fabaceae and also as Leguminosae (which lacks the aceae ending signifying a family). Later some subfamilies were raised to family status adding more -aceae names. There is an article in Wikipedia for those who want to know more about these changes.
Worldwide the pea family is known as the third largest family and is used in many ways. The flowers are irregular with 5 fused sepals. The 5 petals form a distinctive shape. Two are joined to form a keel, one is upright (the standard) with two petals, one on each side (wings). There are 10 stamens (9 fused and 1 free) and 1 ovary.
The leaves are usually alternate, pinnately divided with no teeth. They sometimes have a long thread like part of the stem that wraps around other objects (tendrils) to support the plant. Also they usually have a leaf like structure at the base of the leaf (stipules).
There are two types of fruit. One called the loment the other a legume.
The astragaluses are found in the pea family. There are many species of astragalus in Alaska. Known as milk vetch they are found in dry habitats and are circumboreal. The flowers have keels that are tipped with a sharp point. They have stems.
There are at least 18 oxytropes in Alaska, several species are found in Alaska and the Yukon, and 3 are found only in Alaska. They grow in dry alpine habitats and resemble the milk vetches. Their flowers usually rise from the base with no stem.