Himalayan Pigeonpea
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Himalayan Pigeonpea
P Native Photo: Nishant Chauhan
Common name: Himalayan Pigeonpea • Himachali: वण-तूर बेल Van Toor-Bel • Hindi: जंगली पहाड़ी अरहर Jangli Pahadi Arhar • Urdu: Pahadi Arhar ﭘﮩﺎﮌﯼ ﺍﺭﮨﺮ
Botanical name: Cajanus mollis    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Dolichos blandus, Cantharospermum molle, Atylosia mollis

Himalayan Pigeonpea is a twining perennial herb with branches densely velvet-hairy. Leaves are almost digitately 3-foilate; leaf-stalks 3-8 cm, leaflets ovate-elliptic or rombhic 4-7 x 2.5-6 cm, pointed, base wedge-shaped, velvet-hairy especially beneath, glandular. Flowers are borne in 6-15 flowered racemes, 5-7 bracts ovate 8-14 x 6-10 mm, falling off. Sepal-tube is 5 mm, teeth 3-5 mm. Petals are yellow 1.3-2.5 cm, standard broadly oblong or obovate, 1.3-2.2 x 1.2-1.5 cm, wings elliptic, blade 10-17 x 4-5 mm with 2 ears at base, the lower one short, the upper almost as long as basal claw, keel oblong 10-16 x 5-6 mm, upcurved and rounded distally. Pods are 4-5 x 0.7-0.9 cm, rounded at tip, often bearing persistent style, densely velvet-hairy, grooved almost at right angles at sutures, 6-9-seeded, seeds oblong, brown or blackish 3.5-4 x 2.5-3 mm. Himalayan Pigeonpea is is found in the Himalayas, from Pakistan to the Himalayas, to NE India and China, at altitudes of 1100-1600 m. Flowering: September-November.

Identification credit: Nishant Chauhan Photographed in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh.

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