The American name for Vigna Gatjang, Walp. ( V. Sinénsis Endl.), one of the Leguminosm allied to Dolichos and Phaseolus. From Phaseolus (the common bean), Vigna differs in not having a spiral keel, style hairy above, stigma oblique or introrse, and other minor technical characters. In other than American literature, the Cowpea is known as China Bean and Black-Eyed bean. In the S. it is commonly known as Black Pea. Botanically it is a bean rather than a pea.
The Cowpea is a rambling, tender annual, native to China and Japan. In this country, it is extensively grown in the southern states, as a hay crop . It is also invaluable as a green-manure crop (see over crop). It is to the south what clover is to the north and Alfalfa is to the west. It is sown broadcast after the manner of field peas. From 3 to 5 peeks of seed are used per acre.