Cajanus cajan

Cajanus cajan (L.) Huth

Common Names: Pigeon Pea

Family: Fabaceae

Habit: Cajanus cajan grows as a woody perennial up to 2 m in height.  New vegetation is slightly pubescent. The trifoliate leaves are arranged alternately with acuminate stipules at the petiole base. The pubescent leaflets are elliptic/lanceolate, to 10 cm in length, with an acute/acuminate leaf apex and an entire margin.

The complete, perfect, zygomorphic flowers are arranged in axillary racemes. The calyx 5 are partially fused, pubescent, green sepals forming a tube with the sepal lobes the same length as the tube.  The corolla has 5, yellow with a reddish base, pubescent petals, the upper enlarged to form the banner and the lower 2 fused to form the keel.  There are 10 diadelphous (9 +1) stamens.  The ovary is superior and has a single locule with numerous seeds.  The fruit is a brown legume up to 8 cm in length at maturity.

Habitat: Cajanus cajan grows in Human Altered environments (farms, yards).

Distribution: Cajanus cajan is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago but occurs throughout all of the island groupings. It is native to the Indian subcontinent but is now widespread throughout tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Cajanus cajan is used to treat fish poisoning and to treat eye issues.

It is grown as a food crop and is drought resistant.