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Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata)

59 cowpea 59 Flower_smweb

Common Names
Cowpea, blackeyed pea, yardlong bean, asparagus bean (En); niébé, haricot à l’oeil noir, pois yeux noirs, haricot dolique, dolique asperge (Fr); frijol de costa, caupies, rabiza (Sp); 豇豆, 葉用豇豆 (Cn)

Plant Distribution
Sub-Saharan Africa, East, South, and Southeast Asia

Edible Parts
Leaves are used boiled or stir-fried; green pods used fresh, steamed, stir-fried or sautéed; dry seeds used in soups, stews, purees, ground into flour, or fermented.

Health values
Beta-carotene: extremely high in leaves, medium in green pods, low in dry seeds; vitamin E: high in leaves; riboflavin: medium in leaves and dry seeds, low in green pods; folic acid: high in leaves, medium in green pods, extremely high in dry seeds; ascorbic acid: medium in leaves and green pods, low in dry seeds; calcium: high in leaves, low in green pods and dry seeds; iron: low in leaves and green pods, extremely high in dry seeds; protein: 3-4% in leaves and green pods, 24% in dry seeds. Seed protein is relatively rich in lysine, but poor in S-containing amino acids.

Read more: Cowpea, in Discovering Indigenous Treasures: Promising Indigenous Vegetables from Around the World. 2009. AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center