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Common Name: Pigeon Pea, Congo Pea, Red Gram, Arhar.
Botanical Name: Cajanus cajan syn. Cajanus indicus
Food; seeds are 25% protein, can be eaten fresh or as split dried peas, are used for dhal in India, contain 5 times more Vitamin A and C than green peas. The leaves and young shoots can be eaten cooked, they are fibrous and have a strong spicy odour.
Animal Fodder; an excellent feed for cattle, pigs and poultry.
Green Manure; incorporate the plants as they flower.
Mulch production; can be cut many times in a season.
Alley cropping; provides nitrogen, habitat and soil stabilisation.
Windbreaks; suitable as a shelterbelt around vegetable
The major countries growing pegeonpea are
India, Uganda, Kenya, West Indies, Puerto Rico,
Dominican Republic in Caribban region and
In India, main region cultivated in Maharashtra,
Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka,
Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.
PIGEON PEA ORGINATED IN INDIA AS IS MADE LIKELY BYTHE PRESENCE OF
WILDE RELATIVES,THE LARGEDIVERSITY OF THE GENE POOL, AMPLE LINGUITIC
EVIDENCE, A FEW ARCHAEOLOGICAL REMAINS AND WIDE HOME
SOME AUTHERS FAVOUR AN AFRICAN ORIGIN.
AUSTRALIA WITH 15 WILD SPECIES OF WHICH 13 ARE ENDEMIC, IS ANOTHER
CENTER OF DIVERSITY
Cajanus species( Van Der Maesen, 1990) has 32 species:(belowing is 6 main species)
Species Most common Synonym
Cajanus acutifolius Rhynchosia acutifolia
C. albicans Atylosia albicans
C. cromaticus -----------
C. cajan C. idicus
C. cajanifolius A.caranifolia
C. cinereus A. cinerea
Root system of pigeon pea consists of a central tap root with numerous lateral and secondary branches. The length of the lateral roots differs with the variety; usually tall, upright varieties produce longer and more deeply penetrating roots, whereas spreading types produce shallower, more spreading and deeper roots.
Leaves are trifoliately compound; central leaflet longer than lateral ones. The leaflets are entire and densely silky on the lower surface. Stipules are small; lamina hairy with the under surface grayish due to dense hairs. The intensity of the green color of the leaves differs with the variety. The total length of the leaf, as also the size, shape and texture of leaflets also differ with the varieties.
The inflorescence is an axillary raceme often forming a terminal panicle. The size of inflorescence varies in different types. The flowers are distinctly papallionaceous. In the late maturing varieties, the flowers are usually grouped together at the ends of the branches, but in early maturing varieties, the flowers are produced at several points along the branches. Usually flowers open at a time on the same inflorescence, but the process of flowering continuous in each plant almost up to the time of harvest. The flowers are self pollinated, pollination takes place before the flowers open. Cross fertilization may also occur to some extent.
Pods The fruit of pigeon pea is a pod. These
vary in length, width and nature of markings. The length varies from 5 to 10 centimeter, width from 0.6 to 0.9 centimeter. The pods vary in color from green to dark brown. In some types, they are broad and pendant with their tips pointing downwards while in others they are quiet erect. The seed with in the pod may vary in number, but there are usually four to five in each pod in late maturing varieties and two to three in early maturing varieties.
Seeds are differing in great deal in size, shape and
color. Seeds are round or lens shaped, the color of the seeds coat being dirty white to silver white,
light brown to chestnut brown, dark mottled
brown and pinkish black and the cotyledons
Floral Characteristics Flower is the similar in structure to that of other legums
Size of the inflorescence varies in different types and there
may be many as 10 flowers in each inflorescence
Usually two flowers open at the a time on the same
Individual flower consist of acalyx with five sepals
and coralla with a standard petal, two wings
petals, and a keel petals.
There are 10 statements: 9 fused in a column and
One stigma was coverd of central 9 stamens in
Flower start opening early in the morning in the
summer and by noon during winter,continuous
opening throughout the day. The lengt of time
flowers remain open is influenced by the weather.
Stigma is receptive pollen before anthesis and
pollination can be done immediately after
Pollen in buds remained viable up to 42 hours at
room temprate (25-28oc, 50.6% humidity) and up
to 11 days in the refrigerator( 10o c, 37.5%
Bagging of young bud
Manual transfer of freshly collected pollen on stigmas of
flowers of the same plant
Removal of anthers from flower
Use hand eliminate a half of bud
Use forcep remove the anther in stamens
Pollen collection &
Collect pollen from the male parent during early
Pollinate on the stigma of emasculated flower
Bag the pollinated flower to prevent out crossing