from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An annual African plant (Vigna unguiculata) in the pea family, widely cultivated in warm regions for food, forage, and soil improvement.
  • n. An edible seed of this plant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the black-eyed pea, Vigna unguiculata

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The seed of one or more leguminous plants of the genus Dolichos; also, the plant itself. Many varieties are cultivated in the southern part of the United States.
  • n. A leguminous plant (Vigna Sinensis, syn. Vigna Catjang) found throughout the tropics of the Old World. It is extensively cultivated in the Southern United States for fodder, and the seed is used as food for man.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A plant, Vigna Catiang. See pea.
  • n. The cow-pea is a bean rather than a pea, having large leaves with three leaflets and seeds frequently oblong or kidney-shaped. It is commonly classed as Vigna Sinensis, but probably includes more than one natural species, the red-seeded and black-seeded varieties forming one natural group; the round-seeded ‘lady-peas’ a second; the large black-eyed and purple-eyed a third; and the mottled and speckled ‘whippoorwills,’ together with plain yellow, pinkish, and light brown a fourth. The cow-pea is an annual, its numerous varieties passing through all grades of bush, trailing, and running habit, the less rampant being better adapted to short seasons. It requires much heat and will bear no frost; hence it is most at home in the South, but varieties have been secured which will mature in 60 days, and its culture is extending northward. In the southern United States it has long been of great value, and with the introduction of mixed farming is increasingly appreciated. It is available for forage and soiling and for hay, in the latter use, when well cured, ranking with red clover; and it is one of the foremost nitrogen-gatherers. For silage it is inferior to corn or sorghum. The shelled seeds, chiefly of the ‘black-eye pea,’ are used for human food, either fresh or dried.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. eaten fresh as shell beans or dried
  • n. sprawling Old World annual cultivated especially in southern United States for food and forage and green manure
  • n. fruit or seed of the cowpea plant


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Normally cooked with other vegetables such as cowpea leaves.

    Chapter 7

  • · Using leguminous food plants (such as cowpea or peanuts) in crop rotations;

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  • Grain legumes such as cowpea and mung beans are important protein foods for humans.

    Chapter 4

  • The leguminous residues of dual purpose crops such as cowpea, soybean, mungbean, bush sitao and batao have protein content of about 12 percent or more.

    Chapter 19

  • Many garden crops in the legume family, such as cowpea, tepary bean, fava bean, African locust bean, and carob, fix nitrogen in root nodules inhabited by rhizobia, bacteria of the genus Rhizobium.

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  • The GHA will also explore improvements in additional staple crops, including sorghum and a legume such as cowpea or peanuts.

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  • "We conduct research on crops such as cowpea, soybean, banana, plaintain, yam, cassava and maize."

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  • The use of plant viruses for nanobiotechnology also includes viruses such as cowpea chlorotic mottle virus (CCMV), potato virus X, tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), and brome mosaic virus (BMV).

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  • Suppression subtractive hybridization is a popular technique for gene discovery from non-model organisms without an annotated genome sequence, such as cowpea (Vigna unguiculata

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  • Farmers traditionally cultivate these crops on part of their fields to feed their families: millet, sorghum, pigeonpea, chickpea, cowpea, beans etc.

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