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Cow-pea, Hairypod cowpea
Vigna luteola
Fabaceae


General Landscape Uses:

Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also butterfly gardens.
Availability:
Grown by enthusiasts.
Description:
Scrambling or creeping vine.
Dimensions:
N/A; a vine with stems 6 feet or more in length.
Growth Rate:
Fast.
Range:
Southeastern United States west to Texas and south to the Monroe County Keys; West Indies, Mexico, Central America and South America. Rare in the Monroe County Keys.
Habitats:
Pinelands, coastal uplands and disturbed sites.
Soils:
Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, with or without humusy top layer.
Nutritional Requirements:
Low to moderate; it can grow in nutrient poor soils or soils with some organic content.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Secondary line; tolerates significant salt wind without injury, but usually is somewhat protected.
Drought Tolerance:
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun.
Flower Color:
Yellow.
Flower Characteristics:
Showy, 3/4" long
Flowering Season:
All year.
Fruit:
Hairy pod (legume) 2 1/2" long. All year.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Larval host plant for cassius blue (Leptotes cassius), gray hairstreak (Strymon melinus), long-tailed skipper (Urbanus proteus) and the recently established dorantes skipper (Urbanus dorantes) butterflies.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seed. Sprinkle seeds on surface of soil and barely cover. Place container in full sun.
Comments:
Can be somewhat weedy, but useful in coastal sites.


 


Roger L. Hammer
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton