Jason Walter wrote:
I know very little about plants and any links that explain the benefits of legume and how/ why it benefits soil that explain the details in a simple manner would be appreciated. Thanks
legume plants have evolved to have a partnership with a bacteria that it hosts on its roots. The bacteria gathers nitrogen from the air and stores it on root nodules to help feed the plant. When the plant dies, these root nodules release any stored nitrogen into the soil for the next plant.
That is all one really needs to know about the process. The bacteria is sometimes in the soil already or one can buy inoculant to add to seeds or existing roots. As far as a list of legumes for FL, I am sure there are many that would grow in your climate. Here is a list of Legumes.
Jason Walter wrote:
I'm wondering if there's a list of Le Jeune plants that are available to be grown in my area which is 9 a central North Florida I'd like to plant only native plants as much as possible.
Never heard the term "Le Jeune plants." Is that some sort of spell check swap for "legume?"
Legumes (pea family) typically are nitrogen fixers and often do well in poor soils as a result. I'm up in 8b north and west of you and am looking for appropriate legumes also. So far I'm working with black and honey locusts (not sure either is native this far south, but my black locusts are doing quite well so far) and pink-eyed purple hulls mostly. There are a wide variety of cowpea family crops that should do well at least part of the year. The cowpea family (crowder, iron & clay, black-eyed, etc.) are more heat-tolerant than most of the other bean/pea crops so can do well in Southern summers.)
Mimosa is non-native but pretty much naturalized. Same family, also fixes nitrogen. There are a lot of other non-native members of the family should work in your zone. Check out GreenDreams youtube channel. Believe they are right there in zone 9 and are expert on this topic.
Another useful family member would be pigeon pea, which is sort of marginal for me. I got some seeds for a variety that is supposed to be cold-tolerant here, but haven't yet tried them. I'll plant some in the spring and see if they survive the following winter, otherwise may just use them as an annual. It's not native, however. It does produce useful pods (basis of hummus) and grows into a large shrub or small tree, so persists better than standard legume annuals like pink-eyed purple hulls which die back after fruiting.
Any crop in the bean/pea family that you can grow in your zone will improve the soil. That includes English peas, snow peas, green beans, pole beans, etc. If you look at heirlooms you can find some that would be close to what was native in pre-columbian times, but mostly they are all bred/hybridized these days.