Kingdom : Plantae
(unranked) : Angiosperms
(unranked) : Eudicots
(unranked) : Rosids
Order : Fabales
Family : Fabaceae
Genus : Vigna
Species : V. unguiculata
Binomial name : Vigna unguiculata
The Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) is one of several species of the widely cultivated genus Vigna. Four cultivated subspecies are recognised:
Vigna unguiculata subsp. cylindrica Catjang
Vigna unguiculata subsp. dekindtiana
Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis Yardlong bean
Vigna unguiculata subsp. unguiculata Black-eyed pea
Cowpeas are one of the most important food legume crops in the semi-arid tropics covering Asia, Africa, southern Europe and Central and South America. A drought-tolerant and warm-weather crop, cowpeas are well-adapted to the drier regions of the tropics, where other food legumes do not perform well. It also has the useful ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen through its root nodules, and it grows well in poor soils with more than 85% sand and with less than 0.2% organic matter and low levels of phosphorus. In addition, it is shade tolerant, and therefore, compatible as an intercrop with maize, millet, sorghum, sugarcane, and cotton. This makes cowpea an important component of traditional intercropping systems, especially in the complex and elegant subsistence farming systems of the dry savannas in sub-Saharan Africa.
Nutrient content of mature cowpea seed (average of eight varieties).
Protein - 24.8%
Fat - 1.9%
Fiber - 6.3%
Carbohydrate - 63.6%
Thiamine - 0.00074%
Riboflavin - 0.00042%
Niacin - 0.00281%
Cowpeas are a common food item in the southern United States, where they are often called Black-eyed pea or field peas. Two subcategories of field peas are crowder peas, so called because they are crowded together in their pods, causing them to have squarish ends, and cream peas.
The leaves of the cowpea plant have the highest percentage of calories from protein among vegetarian foods.
Barbatti is one of the forms of bean. This is videly accepted due to its length. It is very tasty to eat if cooked with potato & tomato.