Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Cajanus bicolor

DC., Cat. Hort. Bot. Monsp. 85.1813

Pigeon pea, Guandú, Frijol de palo

Shrub, woody at base, to 3 m tall; stems minutely seri­ceous, 3-ridged from the nodes. Leaves trifoliolate; stip­ules lanceolate, 2.5-3 mm long; petioles 1-4 cm long; rachis 5-15 mm long; leaflets narrowly elliptic, acute or slightly acuminate at apex, cuneate at base, softly puberu­lent and grayish-green above, glandular-dotted, tomen­tose, and pale below, the terminal leaflet 5-10 cm long, 2-3.5 cm wide, the veins at base 3. Racemes terminal or upper-axillary, 2-6 cm long, the flowers often paired at the nodes; pedicels 5-10 mm long; calyx bilabiate, to 8 mm long, lobed half its length, the lobes acute to acumi­nate, the upper 2 ± united along their common side; petals to 2 cm long, yellow, the standard often red to maroon outside. Legumes oblong, 5-10 cm long, 1-1.5 cm wide, puberulent, strongly beaked,    yellowish-green with brown-striped mottling, with oblique constrictions be­tween the seeds on the side of the legume, the calyx persisting at base; seeds 2-5, flattened, ca 7 mm diam, gray, the hilum prominent. Croat 7238.

Cultivated in the Laboratory Clearing. Flowers and fruits primarily from January to March, but sometimes flowering much earlier, even in the late rainy season. The fruits develop in about 1 month.

Probably native to the East Indies; introduced sporadi­cally in the New World tropics. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Bocas del Toro, Coclé, Panama, and Darien.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Cajanus bicolor