Cajanus indicus Spreng. Leguminosae. Angola Pea. Catjang. Congo Pea. Dahl. Grandue. No-Eye Pea. Pigeon Pea. Toor. Urhur.
East Indies. The pigeon pea is a perennial shrub, though treated generally as an annual when in cultivation. It is now naturalized in the West Indies, in tropical America and in Africa. The variety Bicolor grows from three to six feet high and is called the Congo pea in Jamaica. The variety Flavus grows from five to ten feet high and is called in Jamaica no-eye pea, pigeon pea and Angola pea Dr. MacFayden says there are few tropical plants so valuable. Lunan says the pea when young and properly cooked is very little inferior as a green vegetable to English peas and when old is an excellent ingredient in soups. Berianger says at Martinique there are several varieties greatly used, and that the seeds both fresh and dried are delicious. In Egypt, on the richest soil, says Mueller, 4000 pounds of peas have been produced to the acre, and the plant lasts for three years, growing 15 feet tall. This variety is said by Pickering to be native of equatorial Africa. In India, the seeds of the two varieties are much esteemed, ranking, with the natives, third amongst their leguminous seeds. Elliott says the pulse when split is in great and general esteem and forms the most generally used article of diet among all classes in India. At Zanzibar, the seeds are a principal article of diet. It is both cultivated and wild all over India as well as in all parts of tropical Africa. It certainly is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world, a fact attested by its presence in ancient tombs. Schweinfurth states that it is found in Egyptian tombs of the twelfth dynasty (2200-2400 B. C.)