Annals of Applied Biology (1979), 91, 383-390
by Rupert Sheldrake, A. Narayanan, N. Venkataratnam
In field experiments carried out at Hyderabad, India with early and medium-duration cultivars of Cajanus cajan sown at the normal time, in July, removal of all flowers and young pods for up to 5 wk had little or no effect on final yield. The flowering period of the deflowered plants was extended and their senescence delayed. The plants compensated for the loss of earlier-formed flowers by setting pods from later-formed flowers; there was relatively little effect of the deflowering treatments on the number of seeds per pod or weight per seed. The plants were also able to compensate for the repeated removal of all flowers and young pods from alternate nodes by setting more pods at the other nodes.
The removal of flowers from pigeonpeas grown as a winter crop resulted in yield reductions roughly proportional to the length of the deflowering period, probably because maturation of these plants was delayed and occurred under increasingly unfavourable conditions as the weather became hotter.