Cajanus Species, Congo Pea, Gungo Pea, Pigeon Pea Bush, Red Gram

Cajanus cajan

Family: Fabaceae (fab-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cajanus (kaj-AY-nus) (Info)
Species: cajan (KAJ-an) (Info)
Synonym:Cajanus bicolor
Synonym:Cajanus flavus
Synonym:Cajanus indicus
Synonym:Cajanus luteus
Synonym:Cajanus striatus



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:



4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter

Mid Winter

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

Direct sow as soon as the ground can be worked

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Clearwater, Florida

Dunnellon, Florida

Fort Myers, Florida

Hollywood, Florida(2 reports)

Miami, Florida

Orlando, Florida(2 reports)

Port Charlotte, Florida

Thonotosassa, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida

Zebulon, North Carolina

Austin, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 22, 2014, ZAPATENSE from Zapata, TX wrote:

I planted 4 seeds that I got from someone in Florida. the seeds germinated and took a long time to get of any substantial size but then all of a sudden they exploded and took off. I have two of the original seedlings which are now about 1.5 years old they have produced about 15 lbs. of seed and seem to be flowering on and off all year I harvest the gandul when they are still green to cook with rice and pork they are delicious, the excess I put in a bit of water and freeze them for when I want to use them. I'm in the dry area of South Texas and they have thrived the biomass is tremendous and I feed the young branches to my rabbits and the older mature branches that sometime have older pea pods to my goat and lambs they love it. it made it through the cold spells last winter hope this year i... read more


On Sep 7, 2014, zeke350 from Zebulon, NC wrote:

My brother-in law's father has great success with growing gandules/pigeon peas in Pennsylvania so I decided to attempt growing them in North Carolina just east of Raleigh.

First year .. beautiful plants about 4 feet in height but no peas..

Second year.. started plants in doors .. transplanted after the first frost. The bushes reached a height of 4 feet but I only picked a few dozen pods.

Third year... Attained some seeds from a farm in Puerto Rico.. Started the seeds in-doors in October and transplanted twelve, 2-3 foot high plants after the first frost. It is now September and my trees have trunks that are 2 - 3 inches wide and have reached a height of nearly 14 feet or more. My problem is that it's September in North Carolina and my trees... read more


On Feb 5, 2008, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this woody shrub to small tree. Pigeon pea, Puerto Rico Bean, Gandul, Dhal, Congo Pea (Cajanus cajan) is native to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Sri Lanka (Asia), Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda (Africa) and naturalized as well as cultivated throughout the tropics and subtropics. It has become naturalized in Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. It is likely that pigeon pea originated in India and was transported to Africa a millennia ago where different strains arose. Then, in post-Columbian times, these were brought to the new world. Although it is a perennial, it is mainly grown as an annual as a food source.

Pigeon pea has a taproot that can grow to 2 meters in length and its root system is extensive. The trifoliate... read more