Key in Flora of Bhutan:

1. Erect shrub . .. 1. C. cajan
+ Twiners, herbaceous or woody …… .. 2
2. Leaves pinnately trifoliate ……… .. 3
+ Leaves subdigitately trifoliate …….. ..4
3. Leaflets small 2-4.5cm, elliptic or obovate, acute or subacute … 2. C. scarabaeoides
+ Leaflets larger 5-10cm, obovate, acuminate ……. 3. C. grandiflorus
4. Racemes up to 15-flowered …. .. 4. C. mollis
+ Flowers solitary or up to 5 .. .. 5
5. Slender herbaceous twiner; pods 1.7-2.5><0.5-0.8cm, 3-4-seeded … 5. C. elongatus
+ More robust twiner; pods larger 2-3.5 >< 1cm, 5-6-seeded … 6. C. villosus

Cajanus albicans (Wight & Arn.) Maesen



Cajanus lineatus (Wight & Arn.) Maesen



Cajanus mollis (Benth.) Maesen (Pakistan to China (Yunnan): Assam, China South-Central, East Himalaya, India, Nepal, Pakistan, West Himalaya as per POWO)


Cajanus platycarpus (Benth.) Maesen (Pakistan to NW. & Central India, NE. Jawa: India, Jawa, Pakistan, West Himalaya as per POWO)

Cajanus scarabaeoides (L.) Thouars





Cajanus species in India:
Cajanus albicans (Wight & Arn.) Maesen
C. cajan (L.) Millsp.
C. cajanifolius (Haines) Maesen
C. crassus (King) Maesen
C. elongatus (Benth.) Maesen
C. goensis Dalzell
C. grandiflorus (Baker) Maesen
C. heynei (Wight & Arn.) Maesen
C. lineatus (Wight & Arn.) Maesen
C. mollis (Benth.) Maesen
C. platycarpus (Benth.) Maesen
C. rugosus (Wight & Arn.) Maesen
C. scarabaeoides (L.) Thouars
C. sericeus (Baker) Maesen
Cajanus trinervius (DC.) Maesen
C. villosus (Baker) Maesen

Sanjappa, M. 1992. Legumes of India. Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh Dehradun. pp. 99-104.
eFI page


Binomial Habit Notes Ref. Distrib.
Cajanus albicans (Wight & Arn) Maesen Climber Dry Evergreen
to Dry Deciduous Forests
Matthew, 1999 Dharmapuri,
Dindigul, Kanniya kumari, Nilgiri, Salem, Theni, Tiruchchira ppalli,
Tiruvanna malai, Vellore, Virudhu nagar
Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp. Shrub Plains,
Cultivated, Native of Africa
of Tamil Nadu, VOL. I, 1983
Cajanus goensis Dalz. Twiner Western
Ghats, Moist Deciduous Forests
of Tamil Nadu, VOL. I, 1983
Cajanus lineata (Wight & Arn) van der.
Bush Western
Ghats, Evergreen Forests
of Tamil Nadu, VOL. I, 1983
Kanniyak umari, Nilgiri, Tirunelveli
Cajanus rugosus (Wight & Arn) Maesen Herb Western
Ghats & Eastern Ghats, Evergreen Forests
Dindigul, Nilgiri, Salem
Cajanus scarabaeoides (L.) Thouars Shrub Plains
to Low Altitude
Cajanus trinervius (DC.) van der. Maesen. Shrub Western
Ghats, Evergreen Forests
Kanniya kumari,
Nilgiri, Theni 


Botanical name Synonyms Family Common name
Cajanus cajan Cytisus cajan, Cajanus indicus, Cajanus flavus Fabaceae Arhar
Cajanus crassus Cantharospermum volubile, Atylosia volubilis, Atylosia crassa Fabaceae Thick-Stemmed Cajanus
Cajanus heynei Atylosia kulnensis, Cajanus kulnensis, Dunbaria heynei Fabaceae Heyne’s Pigeonpea
Cajanus lineatus Atylosia lineata Fabaceae Wild Toor
Cajanus scarabaeoides Dolichos scarabaeoides, Cantharospermum scarabaeoides, Atylosia scarabaeoides Fabaceae Showy Pigeonpea

Species with description & keys from Flora of Pakistan
Cajanus cajan (Linn.) Millsp. (Native of Tropical Africa, widely cultivated)


Species with distribution in annotated checklist of Flowering plants of Nepal (Distribution):
Cajanus cajan (L.) Huth (Commonly cultivated in tropical regions, probably a native of Africa)


Cajanus cajan (Linnaeus) Huth [probably originally from tropical Asia, now cultivated worldwide]. 
Cajanus goensis Dalzell [Bangladesh, In­dia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam].
Cajanus mollis (Bentham) Maesen [Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan].
Cajanus scarabaeoides (Linnaeus) Thouars [Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malay­sia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam; Africa, Oceania].
Cajanus volubilis (Blanco) Blanco [India, Indonesia, Laos, Myan­mar, Nepal, New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam] (No distribution in India as per GRIN & ILDIS)




An Excursion Flora of Central Tamilnadu, India By K. M. Matthew (1995)- Details with keys

Medicinal Plants in Andhra Pradesh, India By T. Pullaiah (2002)- Details-

Flora of Davanagere District, Karnataka, India By B. K. Manjunatha (2004)- Details with keys
Cajanus cajan
Cajanus scarabaeoides

Biodiversity in India, Volume 2 By T. Pullaiah (2003)-

Cajanus (Fabaceae) : 3 posts by 2 authors.

I have updated eFI (efloraofindia) page on Cajanus(Pl. click).

Attempts have been made to incorporate most of the species available in India & nearby areas with details & keys directly or through links as far as possible. It’s quite possible that there may be some discrepancy in the accepted names & synonyms taken from other links.

Species discussed so far in efloraofindia are given at the bottom of the page in the form of links against Subpages. On clicking them one can see all the details.

If someone can provide updated complete list of Indian species with source references it will be wonderful.
Any comments/ corrections are welcome.

I have compiled and added the list of species.


Pl. go through Cajanus page with images of species (done by …) in efloraofindia.

If you find any mis-identification, pl. let us know.

If anybody can send images of other species of this genera (for incorporation in the website), if any, it will be really nice.
Also, if anybody is interested to take up the activity of inserting images on efloraofindia pages from efloraofindia posts, pl. let me know.