Cow pea

Cow pea

Scientific name: Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.

Local name: Felon










Taxonomic Position According to Cronquist (1988)


Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Fabales
Family            : Fabacaeae
Genus : Vigna
Species: V. unguiculata


Botanical Description of Cow pea

 Habit: annual herb









Root: Tap root system

Stem: Stem stout

Leaf: compound, the size and shape of the leaves varies greatly, making this an important feature for classifying and distinguishing cowpea varieties. Another distinguishing feature of cowpeas are the long 20–50 centimetre (7.9–19.7 in) peduncles which hold the flowers and seed pods. One peduncle can support four or more seed pods. Flower colour varies through different shades of purple, pink, yellow and white and blue.









Inflorescence: Short axillary raceme

Flower: Papilionaceous, hermaphrodite

Calyx: campanulate, oblique, teeth triangular

Corolla: Standard, wing and keel; standard is whitish in color, wings often with purplish Androecium: Stamens 10, diadephous i.e. 9+1

Gynoecium: Carpel 1, ovary superior

Fruit: Legume









Economic Importance: The seeds are used as food for human being. The plant is used as hay and fodder.

Table 1. Cow pea varieties released by BARI, Joydebpur, Bangladesh

Sl. No.Name of VarietyReleased byYear of ReleaseGrowing SeasonYieldView
1BARI Felon-1(Bostamy)Pulse Research Center1993Rabi1.1-1.4 t/haView for Detail 
2BARI Felon-2Pulse Research Center1996Rabi1.5 t/ha View for Detail

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