Botanical Description of Pigeonpea [Cajanus Cajan (L.) Millsp.]

  • C. V. Sameer KumarEmail author
  • S. J. Satheesh Naik
  • Nidhi Mohan
  • Rachit K. Saxena
  • Rajeev K. Varshney
Part of the Compendium of Plant Genomes book series (CPG)


Pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millspaugh] is an important legume crop of the papilionaceae family. It is an often cross-pollinated crop, and breeding principles of both self and cross-pollinated crops are highly effective in its genetic enhancement. Pigeonpea is a hard woody shrub, extensively adaptable to a range of soil types, temperature, and rainfall. It has a deep taproot system extending up to two meters and can grow to a height of four meters. Pigeonpea roots form a symbiotic association with Brady rhizobium spp. and perform biological nitrogen fixation. The branching pattern of stem may vary from bush type to compact upright type and is of determinate, semi-determinate, and non-determinate type based on the flowering pattern. The primary leaves are simple, opposite, and caduceus, while the latter ones are pinnately trifoliate with lanceolate to elliptical leaflets. Pigeonpea flowers are zygomorphic, borne on terminal or auxiliary racemes and are normally yellow in color with some variations. It has ten stamens in diadelphous condition with light or dark yellow anthers. The ovary is superior with a long style attached to a thickened, incurved, and swollen stigma. Pigeonpea is an often cross-pollinated crop with an average of 20% cross-pollination. The fruit of pigeonpea is called pod, which is of various colors, with and without deep constrictions. Seeds (with 20–22% proteins and amino acids) can be round or lens shaped, in shades of white and brown color with yellow color cotyledon. Pigeonpea is a widely consumed multi-utility pulse crop, thus the knowledge about the crop botany is vital for modifying it according to future challenges and goals.


Cajanus Cajan Pigeonpea Roots Bradyrhizobium Genetic Enhancement Pigeonpea Seeds 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. V. Sameer Kumar
    • 1
    Email author
  • S. J. Satheesh Naik
    • 2
  • Nidhi Mohan
    • 3
  • Rachit K. Saxena
    • 1
  • Rajeev K. Varshney
    • 1
  1. 1.Genetic GainsInternational Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)PatancheruIndia
  2. 2.Pigeonpea BreedingICAR-IIPRKanpurIndia
  3. 3.ANGRAUGunturIndia

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