Black eyed peas, black eyed beans or cowpeas (Latin: Vigna unguiculata) are annual legumes of the family Fabaceae. The leaves of the plant have a pointed heart-shape common to beans. The plant may be a bush or a trailing vine which produces peas. The pea is white with a small black spot around the seed.
Black eyed peas should be planted when soil temperatures have been warmed consistently. The plants require full sun exposure and also require extra water under heat. In about 70 days, snap pods which carry the beans will be ready for harvest. Then the pods are shelled and the peas are left to dry thoroughly.
The plant's peas are called Black-eyed because of the black dot where the bean was joined to the pod. The plant originates in subtropical Asia and is now cultivated throughout the world. Today, the crop is most cultivated in Southern US states.
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