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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Fabales

Familia: Fabaceae
Subfamilia: Faboideae
Tribus: Phaseoleae
Subtribus: Cajaninae
Genus: Cajanus
Sectiones: C. sect. Atylia – C. sect. Cajanus – C. sect. Cantharospermum – C. sect. Fruticosa – C. sect. Rhynchosioides – C. sect. Volubilis
Species overview

C. acutifolius – C. albicans – C. aromaticus – C. cajan – C. cajanifolius – C. cinereus – C. confertiflorus – C. crassicaulis – C. crassus – C. elongatus – C. goensis – C. grandiflorus – C. heynei – C. kerstingii – C. lanceolatus – C. lanuginosus – C. latisepalus – C. lineatus – C. mareebensis – C. marmoratus – C. mollis – C. niveus – C. platycarpus – C. pubescens – C. reticulatus – C. rugosus – C. scarabaeoides – C. sericeus – C. trinervius – C. villosus – C. viscidus – C. volubilis

Cajanus DC. (1813), nom. cons. et orth. cons.

Type species: C. cajan (L.) Huth


Cajan Adans., Fam. 2: 326 (1763)
Atylosia Wight & Arn., Prod. 257 (1834)
Cantharospermum Wight & Arn., Prod. 255 (1834)
Endomallus Gagnep., Lecomte, Not. Syst. 3: 184 (1915)
Cajanum Raf., Sylva Tell. 25. 1838, nom. illeg.


Conservation is stated unnecessary as Adanson's names are invalid under ICBN Art. 20 as he consistently used a mononomial form of nomenclature (Parkinson 1987).
Native distribution areas:

Continental: Tropical & Subtropical Old World to N. Australia.
Andaman Is., Assam, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina, Cambodia, China South-Central, China Southeast, Comoros, East Himalaya, Ghana, Guinea, Hainan, India, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Madagascar, Malaya, Mali, Myanmar, Nansei-shoto, Nepal, New Guinea, Nicobar Is., Nigeria, Northern Territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Queensland, Senegal, South China Sea, Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Vietnam, West Himalaya, Western Australia
Introduced into:
Afghanistan, Angola, Bahamas, Bermuda, Bismarck Archipelago, Bolivia, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cayman Is., Central African Repu, Chad, Colombia, Congo, Cook Is., Cuba, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Florida, French Guiana, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Gulf of Guinea Is., Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Laccadive Is., Leeward Is., Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Mexico Southwest, Mozambique, Namibia, New Caledonia, New South Wales, Niger, Northern Provinces, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, Réunion, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Society Is., Somalia, Southwest Caribbean, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Tadzhikistan, Tanzania, Transcaucasus, Trinidad-Tobago, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Windward Is., Yemen, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition

Primary references

de Candolle, A.P. 1813. Catalogus plantarum Horti Botanici Monspeliensis. Monspelii: J. Martel. Parisiis et Argentorati: A. Koenig. Bibliotheca Digital Reference page. : 85.

Additional references

Maesen, L.J.G. van der 1986. Cajanus DC. and Atylosia W. & A. (Leguminosae). Agricultural University Wageningen Papers 85(4): 1–225 [1].
Parkinson, P.G. 1987. Taxon 36. 81–82.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Cajanus in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 May 08. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2021. Cajanus. Published online. Accessed: May 08 2021. 2021. Cajanus. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 May 08.
Hassler, M. 2021. Cajanus. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2021. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 May 08. Reference page.
Hassler, M. 2021. World Plants. Synonymic Checklist and Distribution of the World Flora. . Cajanus. Accessed: 08 May 2021.

Vernacular names

The genus Cajanus is a member of the plant family Fabaceae. There are 37 species, mainly distributed across Africa, Asia and Australasia.

Species include the pigeon pea (C. cajan), which is a significant food crop.

Cajanus species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Endoclita malabaricus.

Species include:[2]

Cajanus acutifolius
Cajanus albicans
Cajanus aromaticus
Cajanus cajan - pigeon pea, Congo-pea
Cajanus cinereus
Cajanus confertiflorus
Cajanus crassicaulis
Cajanus crassus
Cajanus elongatus
Cajanus goensis
Cajanus grandiflorus
Cajanus kerstingii
Cajanus lanceolatus
Cajanus lanuginosus
Cajanus latisepalus
Cajanus mareebensis
Cajanus marmoratus
Cajanus mollis
Cajanus platycarpus
Cajanus pubescens
Cajanus reticulatus
Cajanus scarabaeoides
Cajanus sericeus
Cajanus viscidus


Maesen, L. J. G. van der. 1986. "Cajanus and Atylosia W. & A. (Leguminosae)". Agric. Univ. Wageningen Pap. 85–4:43.
"Genus Nomenclature in GRIN". Archived from the original on 2009-05-07. Retrieved 2010-08-06.
Kew Archived 2016-12-30 at the Wayback Machine

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