Cajanus scarabaeoides (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Cajanus scarabaeoides (L.) du Petit-Thouars

Family: Leguminosae - Papilionoideae


  • Atylosia scarabaeoides (L.) Benth.

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: dele rambat, kacang gude, kedelen (Javanese)
  • Philippines: kidalis logua (Maranao); mangkitbagin (Tagalog)
  • Thailand: thua-pi
  • Vietnam: dâu tương dại (Hanoi), báy nỡ (Hué).


Widespread in South and South-East Asia and northern Australia, and spreading in Africa and the Caribbean.


Component of ground cover and undergrowth in teak plantations and drought-resistant pasture. It improves barren rangeland, but its actual role as green manure is unknown.


  • Prostrate herb or creeper-climber, puberulous.
  • Leaves trifoliolate, petiole 4-20 mm, rachis 2-5 mm long. Leaflets obovate, 15-45 mm × 7-27 mm, coriaceous, with punctate glands below, sparsely white pubescent.
  • Inflorescence a short, axillary raceme with 1-6 yellow flowers.
  • Calyx up to 9 mm long, teeth lanceolate; standard obovate, sometimes with red veins.
  • Pod oblong, 15-20 cm × 6-10 mm, constricted between the seeds, 2-6-seeded.
  • Seed 4-5 mm × 2 mm, beetle-like because of the strophiole, greyish with black and cream mottle.

C. scarabaeoides occurs in open grassland, dry scrub vegetation and deciduous monsoon forest as a drought-resistant element in the dry season, up to 1000 m altitude. It acts against diarrhoea in cattle. A long-peduncled variety is found in northern Australia.

Selected sources

  • Editorial Committee of the Flora of Taiwan (Editor), 1993-1994. Flora of Taiwan. 2nd Edition. Volumes 1 and 3. Epoch Publishing Company, Taipei, Taiwan. 648, 1084 pp.
  • Flora of Tropical East Africa (various editors), 1952-. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations, London, United Kingdom & A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
  • Flore du Cambodge, du Laos et du Viêt-nam [Flora of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam] (various editors), 1960-. Volume 1-. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Laboratoire de Phanérogamie, Paris, France.
  • Hacker, J.B., 1990. A guide to herbaceous and shrub legumes of Queensland. University of Queensland Press, St. Lucia, Australia. 351 pp.
  • van der Maesen, L.J.G., 1986. Cajanus DC. and Atylosia W. & A. (Leguminosae). Agricultural University Wageningen Papers No 85-4. Wageningen Agricultural University, Wageningen, the Netherlands. 225 pp.
  • Verdcourt, B., 1979. A manual of New Guinea legumes. Botany Bulletin No 11. Office of Forests, Division of Botany, Lae, Papua New Guinea. 645 pp.
  • Wealth of India (various editors), 1948-1976. A dictionary of Indian raw materials and industrial products: raw materials. 11 volumes. Publications and Information Directorate, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi, India. 4441 pp.


  • M.S.M. Sosef & L.J.G. van der Maesen