Cow-pea, Hairypod cowpea
Vigna luteola

Landscape Uses:

Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also butterfly gardens.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

Grown by enthusiasts.
Scrambling or creeping vine.
N/A; a vine with stems 6 feet or more in length.
Growth Rate:
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.
Pinelands, coastal uplands and disturbed sites.
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:
Flower Characteristics:
Showy, 3/4" long
Flowering Season:
All year.
Hairy pod (legume) 2 1/2" long. All year.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Larval host plant for cassius blue (Leptotes cassius), dorantes longtail (Urbanus dorantes), gray hairstreak (Strymon melinus), and long-tailed skipper (Urbanus proteus) butterflies. Nectar source for gray hairstreak.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seed. Sprinkle seeds on surface of soil and barely cover. Place container in full sun.
Can be somewhat weedy, but useful in coastal sites.

Roger L. Hammer
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton