Introduced to Hawaiʻi by James Macrae in 1824, the pigeon pea is a small tree that has naturalized in a few areas but is not considered weedy. The native origin is obscure due to its long history of cultivation. Evidence of breeding was found in Egypt, dating back to 2000 BC.
The beneficial plant provides a plethora of uses and products: livestock forage, nitrogen fixation, human food, green manure, support of vanilla orchids, hay, medicine, flour, windbreaks, silkworm food, fuel, thatching, and weaving materials.
A semi-perennial shrub, pigeon pea, requires replanting every 3 to 4 years.
Trifoliate leaves (sets of three), zygomorphic yellow flowers, molted red seed pods, and a deep taproot are some descriptive characteristics of this plant.
- Cultural significance
- Erosion control
- Nitrogen fixer
- No dangers