This staple of Southern cooking brings back memories for just about anyone who grew up south of the Mason-Dixon Line. You might hear them called cowpeas, Southern peas, or black-eyed peas. They're especially popular and are eaten on New Year's Day for good luck in the South and in African-American communities.
This Southern star can also be grown in more northerly regions. Depending on variety, it grows as a bush or vine. Closely related asparagus bean, also called yard long bean for its pods that grow to 3 feet long, is a vining plant.
- Plant Type:
- Plant Height:
- 24-36 inches tall (bush types); 6-12 feet tall (vining types)
- Plant Width:
- 18-30 inches wide
Harvest cowpeas any time from the green-mature shelling stage to the fully mature dried stage. Harvest asparagus bean when pods are tender and only 10-12 inches long. At later stages of development pods become tough. If pods become over mature, shell out the seeds and use them like cowpeas.
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