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black-eyed pea,


black-eyed bean,

annual legume (Vigna sinensis) of the pulsepulse,
in botany, common name for members of the Fabaceae (Leguminosae), a large plant family, called also the pea, or legume, family. Numbering about 650 genera and 17,000 species, the family is third largest, after the asters and the orchids.
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 family. Introduced in the early 18th cent. from the Old World to the S United States, it has become a staple of Southern cooking and an important catch cropcatch crop,
any quick-growing crop sown between seasons of regular planting to make use of temporary idleness of the soil or to compensate for the failure of a main crop.
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, soil enhancer, and forage. Cowpea, sometimes called China bean, is grown commercially in India and China and as a high-protein subsistence crop in Africa. Cowpea is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Rosales, family Leguminosae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Vigna sinensis), an annual plant of the family Leguminosae. It resembles the kidney bean and the hyacinth bean. The stems, which are straight or prostrate, measure 20–200 cm long. The leaves are large, ternate, and long-petiolate. The inflorescences contain from two to eight yellowish green flowers. The pods, which measure 8–10 cm long, are cylindrical and linear; they contain four to ten seeds. Cowpea requires heat and moisture. The seeds sprout at a temperature of 12°-14°C; the sprouts are sensitive to spring frosts. The plant is cultivated in many countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, the United States, and China. In the USSR it is grown in Transcaucasia, Middle Asia, the Northern Caucasus, and the southern Ukraine. Cowpea does not grow wild. There are many varieties under cultivation, predominantly on chernozem and clay soils—the soils on which they grow best.

Cowpea seeds are extremely tasty and have great nutritional value (containing 24–28 percent protein and 1.5–2 percent fat). They are used for food and forage. The unripened beans of varieties of the asparagus bean ( Vigna sesquipedalis) are eaten as a vegetable in fresh and canned forms. The foliage is used as pasture feed, hay, silage, and green manure; it is very nourishing and easily digestible and can be eaten by all types of livestock except horses. The yield per hectare (ha) is 126–300 centners of foliage, 45–60 centners of hay, and up to 14 centners of seeds (reaching 30 centners in moist subtropical areas). Cowpea that is grown for seeds is planted in wide rows spaced 50–70 cm apart. Plants that are cultivated for fodder and green manure are sown in rows spaced 30–35 cm apart or are planted broadcast. Cowpea is also planted in mixtures with corn, sorghum, sudan grass, and other crops. The rate of sowing for seeds is 35–40 kg/ha; for green fodder, 50 kg/ha; and for silage in mixtures with other crops, 25–30 kg/ha. The seeds are planted at a depth of 4–9 cm. Plantings of cowpea are damaged by pea and bean weevils, beetles, and pea moths. Countermeasures include chemical and agricultural-engineering methods.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Vigna sinensis. An annual legume in the order Rosales cultivated for its edible seeds. Also known as blackeye bean.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Patients suffering from insomnia are often treated with doses of tryptophan and cowpeas have good amount naturally.
Several insect pests feed on cowpea causing significant damage at different phenological stages of the plant.
Due to its nutritional potential, with high contents of protein, energy, fiber, and minerals (Carvalho et al., 2012), as well as due to its ease of production and reaching, cowpea is the main food legume for poor populations of the North and Northeast regions of Brazil, historically characterized by deficiency in energy, protein, and minerals (Bezerra et al., 2014a).
A significant negative correlation was observed between thrips damage scores and total carbon concentration (r=-0.54) indicating that total carbon plays a significant role against thrips damage in cowpea. Increase in the concentration of flavonoids, total reducing sugar, total carbon in the plants contributed to the reduction of thrips damage (coefficient of regression = -1.47; -0.61 and -0.48, respectively) while the increase in the concentration of the soluble amino acid contributed to the increase of thrips damage (coefficient of regression = 2.10), suggesting that these biochemical conferred the resistance of cowpea to flower thrips damage.
Cowpea is used in controlling soil erosion due to its tendency to produce a heavy vegetative growth that provides full ground cover.
* allows farmers to store cowpeas, ensuring a supply of clean cowpeas for consumption and sale for many months following their harvest.
Plant cowpeas in thoroughly warmed soil a week or two after your recommended date for planting sweet corn.
Although the effect of variety mixtures on leaf and grain yields of cowpea in subsistence agriculture is not known, a number of studies with cereals in Europe and USA show certain yield advantages [10].
Grain yield of cowpea in the northeast region of Brazil is relatively low due to the low-cost technologies applied, with values ranging from 300 to 400 kg [ha.sup.-1] (Soares et al., 2006; Freire Filho et al., 2011).
In spite of the significant contribution of cowpea to the nutrition and food security in Ghana, yields and the production of the crop in the country are very low and continue to decline over the years.