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Holstein Southern Pea

Vigna unguiculata

Grown by: David Vigil and Loreal Monroe in Esparto, CA

  • $5.00

This attractive southern pea was called Polecat in an 1860s survey of southern 'cowpeas', and more recently: Holstein. This tall bush yields 6 to 8 inch pods that produce 10 to 12 peas per pod, good for green shelling peas or dry.

This species was domesticated in West Africa.

Search terms: Cowpea, Southern Pea, Field Pea

Days to maturity: 80 days to dry seed harvest

Seeds per pack: 80

Germination rate: 90% on 12/22/2023

Planting / harvesting notes

Direct sow black-eyed peas safely after frost, any time between late May and mid-July. This is a climbing vine crop, so it needs to be planted next to a structure or trellis. Plant 1" deep with 3" spacing, either in 1 row on each side of the net trellis or in another arrangement if using a different kind of trellis, like a pole or garden sculpture. Being a legume, it does fairly well in and adds nitrogen to poor soil.

Seed keeping notes

Black-eyed peas are self-pollinating, though it is best to isolate different varieties of V. unguiculata (including black-eyed peas, southern peas, cowpeas, and long beans) at least 20 feet, if not much farther to avoid unwanted cross-pollination. Allow beans to dry fully into a brown crispy state. This is when they are ready to harvest for seed. If necessary, lay them out to dry a little longer in their pods.


This product is part of the African Diaspora Collection.

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