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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)
Link to protologue:
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 (Shenzhen ICN Art. 23.4), his generic spelling being correctable under Shenzhen ICN Art. 61.4
Name Verified on: 26-Feb-1988 by ARS Systematic Botanists.
Accessions: 4807 (7 active, 2 available) in National Plant Germplasm System (Map)

Autonyms (not in current use), synonyms and invalid designations:

(≡ homotypic synonym, = heterotypic synonym, - autonym, I invalid designation)

Common names:

Economic Importance:

  • Animal food: fodder; potential as forage
  • Environmental: shade/shelter (fide Pl Res SEAs 1:40. 1989) soil improver (fide Pl Res SEAs 1:40. 1989)
  • Fuels:
  • Human food: vegetable (pods and seeds fide Pl Res SEAs 1:39-40. 1989)
  • Invertebrate food: silkworms (fide Pl Res SEAs 1:40. 1989)
  • Medicines: folklore; folklore

Distributional Range:

    Cultivated (widely cult. in tropics)

    Other (origin India)


  1. Aldén, B., S. Ryman, & M. Hjertson. 2012. Svensk Kulturväxtdatabas, SKUD (Swedish Cultivated and Utility Plants Database; online resource) URL: www.skud.info
  2. Aubréville, A. et al., eds. 1960-. Flore du Cambodge du Laos et du Viet-Nam.
  3. Correa, J. E. & H. Y. Bernal. 1992. Especies vegetales promisorias de los paises del Convenio Andres Bello. 8:66-105.
  4. Duke, J. A. et al. 2002. CRC Handbook of medicinal herbs
  5. Duke, J. A. 1981. Handbook of legumes of world economic importance
  6. Encke, F. et al. 1984. Zander: Handwörterbuch der Pflanzennamen, 13. Auflage
  7. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource). URL: http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/cropListDetails?code=&relation=beginsWith&name=Cajanus+cajan&quantity=1 target='_blank'
  8. Hackett, C. & J. Carolane. 1982. Edible Horticultural Crops Academic Press.
  9. Hara, H. et al. 1978-1982. An enumeration of the flowering plants of Nepal.
  10. International Seed Testing Association. 1982. A Multilingual Glossary of Common Plant-Names 1. Field crops, grasses and vegetables, ed. 2.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Kunkel, G. 1984. Plants for human consumption
  15. Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium. 1976. Hortus third.
  16. Maesen, L. J. G. van der & Sadikin Somaatmadja, eds. 1989. Pulses. Plant Resources of South-East Asia (PROSEA) 1:39.
  17. Maesen, L. J. G. van der. 1986. Cajanus DC. and Atylosia W. & A. (Leguminosae). Agric. Univ. Wageningen Pap. 85-4:1-225.
  18. Maesen, L. J. G. van der. 1986. Cajanus DC. and Atylosia W. & A. (Leguminosae). Agric. Univ. Wageningen Pap. 85-4:65.
  19. Mallikarjuna, N. et al. 2011. Chapter 2. Cajanus. Wild crop relatives: genomic and breeding resources, legume crops and forages 21-33.
  20. 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.
  21. Mallikarjuna, N. et al. 2014. Chapter 7. Pigeonpea. Broadening the genetic base of grain legumes 149-159.
  22. Markle, G. M. et al., eds. 1998. Food and feed crops of the United States, ed. 2
  23. McGuffin, M., J. T. Kartesz, A. Y. Leung, & A. O. Tucker. 2000. Herbs of commerce, ed. 2 American Herbal Products Association, Silver Spring, Maryland.
  24. Nasir, E. & S. I. Ali, eds. 1970-. Flora of [West] Pakistan.
  25. National Academy of Sciences. 1980. Firewood crops. Shrub and tree species for energy production
  26. Nicolson, D. H. 1975. Paratautonyms, a comment on Proposal 146. Taxon 24:390. Note: = Cajanus cajan (L.) Huth
  27. Personal Care Products Council. INCI
  28. Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource).
  29. Rehm, S. 1994. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants
  30. Smith, A. C. 1979-1991. Flora vitiensis nova.
  31. 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.
  32. Turrill, W. B. et al., eds. 1952-. Flora of tropical East Africa.
  33. Walker, E. 1976. Flora of Okinawa and the southern Ryukyu Islands.
  34. Woodson, R. E. & R. W. Schery, eds. 1943-1980. Flora of Panama.
  35. Wu Zheng-yi & P. H. Raven et al., eds. 1994-. Flora of China (English edition).
  36. 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.
  37. PROTABASE, the information base of PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) (on-line resource).

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.
  • PubAg: USDA's National Agricultural Library database of full-text journal articles and citations on the agricultural sciences.


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

Cite as: USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Plant Germplasm System. 2020. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN-Taxonomy).
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. URL: https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?8319. Accessed 12 July 2020.