Taxon: Cajanus cajan (L.) Huth

Genus: Cajanus
Family: Fabaceae (alt.Leguminosae)
  Subfamily: Faboideae
      Tribe: Phaseoleae
        Subtribe: Cajaninae
Nomen number: 8319
Place of publication: Helios 11:133. 1893 "Cajan cajan" (C. F. Millspaugh, Publ. Field Columb. Mus., Bot. Ser. 2(1):53. 1900)
Comment: although the genus Cajanus DC. was formerly (Berlin ICBN App. IIIA) treated as conserved over the rejected Cajan Adans., since the Vienna ICBN the two are treated as orthographic variants, with Cajanus Adans. 'Cajan the conserved spelling', such that Huth's binomial is no longer a tautonym (Melbourne ICN Art. 23.4), his generic spelling being correctable under Melbourne ICN Art. 61.4
Name Verified on: 26-Feb-1988 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last Changed: 01-Aug-2014
Species priority site is: National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation (NSSL)
Accessions: 4806 in National Plant Germplasm System (GoogleMap)

Common names:

Economic Importance:

  • Environmental: agroforestry (fide PROTA4U)
  • Environmental: shade/shelter (fide Pl Res SEAs 1:40. 1989)
  • Environmental: soil improver (fide Pl Res SEAs 1:40. 1989)
  • Human food: pulse (pods and seeds fide Pl Res SEAs 1:39-40. 1989)
  • Human food: vegetable (pods and seeds fide Pl Res SEAs 1:39-40. 1989)
  • Animal food: fodder (fide Pap AU Wagen 85-4:91. 1985)
  • Animal food: potential as forage (fide Pap AU Wagen 85-4:91. 1985)
  • Fuels: fuelwood (fide Firewood Cr)
  • Invertebrate food: lac insects (fide Pl Res SEAs 1:40. 1989)
  • Invertebrate food: silkworms (fide Pl Res SEAs 1:40. 1989)
  • Medicines: folklore (fide CRC MedHerbs ed2; Herbs Commerce ed2)

Distributional Range:


    . origin India


    . widely cult. in tropics


  • PROTABASE, the information base of PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) (on-line resource). (PROTA4U)
  • Aldén, B., S. Ryman & M. Hjertson Våra kulturväxters namn - ursprung och användning. Formas, Stockholm (Handbook on Swedish cultivated and utility plants, their names and origin). 2009 (Vara kulturvaxt namn)
  • Aubréville, A. et al., eds. Flore du Cambodge du Laos et du Viet-Nam. 1960- (F CambLVN)
  • Correa, J. E. & H. Y. Bernal 1992. Especies vegetales promisorias de los paises del Convenio Andres Bello. 1989-1998 (Esp Veg Prom) 8:66-105.
  • Duke, J. A. Handbook of legumes of world economic importance. 1981 (Leg WorldEc)
  • Duke, J. A. et al. CRC Handbook of medicinal herbs. 2002 (CRC MedHerbs ed2)
  • Encke, F. et al. Zander: Handwörterbuch der Pflanzennamen, 13. Auflage. 1984 (Zander ed13)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource). (Ecocrop)
  • Hackett, C. & J. Carolane Edible Horticultural Crops. 1982 (Edible HC)
  • Hara, H. et al. An enumeration of the flowering plants of Nepal. 1978-1982 (L Nepal)
  • International Seed Testing Association A Multilingual Glossary of Common Plant-Names 1. Field crops, grasses and vegetables, ed. 2. 1982 (Mult Glossary Crops)
  • Jha, S. S. & D. Ohri 1996. Phylogenetic relationships of Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp. (pigeonpea) wild relatives based on seed protein profiles Genet. Resources Crop Evol. 43:275-281.
  • Kassa, M. T. et al. 2012. Genetic patterns of domestication in pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.) and wild Cajanus relatives (PloS One) 7(6):e39563.
  • Khoury, C. K. et al. 2015. Crop wild relatives of pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.]: Distributions, ex situ conservation status, and potential genetic resources for abiotic stress tolerance Biol. Conservation 184:259-270.
  • Kunkel, G. Plants for human consumption. 1984 (L Edible Pl)
  • Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium Hortus third. 1976 (Hortus 3)
  • Maesen, L. J. G. van der 1986. Cajanus DC. and Atylosia W. & A. (Leguminosae) Agric. Univ. Wageningen Pap. 85-4:1-225.
  • Maesen, L. J. G. van der 1986. Cajanus DC. and Atylosia W. & A. (Leguminosae) Agric. Univ. Wageningen Pap. 85-4:65.
  • Maesen, L. J. G. van der & Sadikin Somaatmadja, eds. 1989. Pulses (Pl Res SEAs) 1:39.
  • Mallikarjuna, N. et al. 2012. Differences between Cajanus cajan (L.) Millspaugh and C. cajanifolius (Haines) van der Maesen, the progenitor species of pigeonpea Genet. Resources Crop Evol. 59:411-417.
  • Mallikarjuna, N. et al. 2011. Chapter 2. Cajanus (Wild Crop Rel Leg Cr) 21-33.
  • Mallikarjuna, N. et al. Chapter 7. Pigeonpea (Broad GenBa GLeg) 149-159.
  • Markle, G. M. et al., eds. Food and feed crops of the United States, ed. 2. 1998 (Food Feed Crops US)
  • McGuffin, M., J. T. Kartesz, A. Y. Leung, & A. O. Tucker Herbs of commerce, ed. 2. 2000 (Herbs Commerce ed2)
  • Nasir, E. & S. I. Ali, eds. Flora of [West] Pakistan. 1970- (F Pak)
  • National Academy of Sciences Firewood crops. Shrub and tree species for energy production. 1980 (Firewood Cr)
  • Nicolson, D. H. 1975. Paratautonyms, a comment on Proposal 146 (Taxon) 24:390.
  • Parrotta, J. A. Healing plants of peninsular India. 2001 (Healing Pl India)
  • Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource). (Pl Names)
  • Rehm, S. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants. 1994 (Dict Rehm)
  • Smith, A. C. Flora vitiensis nova. 1979-1991 (F Viti)
  • Srikanth, S. et al. 2014. Interspecific hybridization between Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp. and C. lanceolatus (WV Fitgz) van der Maesen Pl. Genet. Resources Charact. Util. 12:255-258.
  • Turrill, W. B. et al., eds. Flora of tropical East Africa. 1952- (F TE Afr)
  • Walker, E. Flora of Okinawa and the southern Ryukyu Islands. 1976 (F Okin)
  • Wiersema, J. H. & B. León World economic plants: a standard reference (on-line edition) [medicinal plants only]. (World Econ Pl Med)
  • Woodson, R. E. & R. W. Schery, eds. Flora of Panama. 1943-1980 (F Panama)
  • Wu Zheng-yi & P. H. Raven et al., eds. Flora of China (English edition). 1994- (F ChinaEng)
  • Yang, S. et al. 2006. Low level of genetic diversity in cultivated pigeonpea compared to its wild relatives is revealed by diversity arrays technology Theor. Appl. Genet. 113:585-595.


Check other web resources for Cajanus cajan (L.) Huth :

  • Flora of China: Online version from Harvard University
  • ILDIS: International Legume Database & Information Service
  • Mansfeld: Mansfeld's World Databas of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
  • ePIC: Electronic Plant Information Centre of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • AGRICOLA: Article Citation Database or NAL Catalog of USDA's National Agricultural Library
  • Entrez: NCBI's search engine for PubMed citations, GenBank sequences, etc.


  • Seed: U.S. National Seed Herbarium image
  • Seed: U.S. National Seed Herbarium image