Cowpea: Reddish Brown
(Vigna unguiculata subsp. unguiculata)
Vigna unguiculata is a grain legume that originates in Africa. Attributes such as vine shape (climbing, prostrate, or semi-erect), seed color (shades of white, pink, brown, and black), and seed maturation time (60 to 240 days) vary with variety. Pods appear in V-shaped pairs. It is an important source of edible, dry seeds. Immature/green pods, seeds, and leaves are also eaten. It makes an excellent green manure/cover crop and can be fed to livestock as hay, silage, or cut and carry forage. Best varieties for small-scale agriculture are usually those with spreading vines (for ground coverage/animal fodder) and high pod production (for human/livestock consumption). Early-maturing types are suited to short rainy seasons.
This vining variety from Central African Republic produces high yields here in south Florida's humid climate. The fresh market pea, harvested when the pod is mature green and shelled for the green pea, has excellent flvaor. The dry seeds are a reddish brown color. About 50 days to flowering and about 70-80 days to dry pod harvest.