• WordNet 3.6
    • n cowpea eaten fresh as shell beans or dried
    • n cowpea sprawling Old World annual cultivated especially in southern United States for food and forage and green manure
    • n cowpea fruit or seed of the cowpea plant
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Cowpea (Bot) 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.
    • Cowpea 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.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n cowpea A plant, Vigna Catiang. See pea.
    • n cowpea 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.
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In literature:

This is done by planting such crops as hemp, clover or cowpeas.
"The Library of Work and Play: Gardening and Farming." by Ellen Eddy Shaw
These are the leguminous plants; such as clover, beans, cowpeas, alfalfa, soy bean, etc.
"The First Book of Farming" by Charles L. Goodrich
A Member: How about cowpeas?
"Trees, Fruits and Flowers of Minnesota, 1916" by Various
The clovers, cowpeas, vetches, soy beans, and alfalfa are all legumes.
"Agriculture for Beginners" by Charles William Burkett
Rye may be sown in the fall and plowed down in May, and cowpeas planted to be disked into the soil.
"Crops and Methods for Soil Improvement" by Alva Agee
Ground which produced a heavy crop of cowpeas, velvet beans or beggarweed the previous season is excellent for the purpose.
"The Pecan and its Culture" by H. Harold Hume
Many leguminous plants, such as alfalfa, cowpeas, peanut vines, etc., may be cut fine and used as an absorbent for molasses.
"The Philippine Agricultural Review" by Various

In news:

Charleston Tennessee is the home of the International Cowpea Festival and Cook-off beginning at 10:00 AM on Saturday, September 15th in Charleston Park.
A new kind of bag for cowpeas in western Africa cuts weevil infestations and boosts incomes and productivity.
Black-eyed peas are a subspecies of the cowpea.
Let's just say that at Purdue University, some of the greatest breakthroughs are being made in the worlds of cowpeas, watermelons and robots.

In science:

Structural rigidity and the capsid assembly of cowpea chlorotic mottle virus. J.
Sensitivity of protein rigidity analysis to small structural variations: a large-scale comparative analysis