Cowpea: India Black Eyed Pea
(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.
Trellising vine. Prolific seed-bearing variety. Beans are white with black spot around hilum.