Vigna unguiculata

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Vigna unguiculata (Cowpeas) is a plant in the Legume family (Fabaceae).[1]

Cultivation in Kenya

"Cultivated all ove rKenya as a vegetable and pulse, mainly 0-1,500m. Also grows in the wild. Growth is poor at higher altitudes. Requires hot, moderately wet conditions. Prefers loam, sandy and other well-drained soils.[1]
"Uses: Food: Leaves and seeds widely used as a food. Some communities grow cowpeas mainly as a vegetable (Luhya). Young leaves are often cooked with potash. The vegetable may be cooked alone or with other types, mainly Corchorus olitorius and Corchorus trilocularis. The leaves are cooked with Corchorus spp. leaves, milk and butter added and served to breastfeeding mothers (Luo). Leaves are normally eaten with ugali or mashed with maize and potatoes or other pulses (Kikuyu). The seeds may be cooked with sorghum (Luo) or maize (nyoyo, Luo, isyo, Kamba, githeri, Kikuyu) or boiled, fried and made into a stew which is eaten with ugali or other foods. Seeds may also be boiled and eaten alone (afwoka, Luo) or mashed and butter added (mukenye, Luo). Seeds are not traditionally used by some Luhya communities but are harvested for next season's planting. Cowpea leaves may be dried and stored for several months. Cowpea is a major leafy vegetable among the Mijikenda, often mixed with leaves of sweet potato (mabwe), cocoyam (maburu), pumpkin and Corchorus olitorius (vombo)."[1]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Patrick M. Maundu, Grace W. Ngugi, and Christine H.S. Kabuye, Traditional Food Plants of Kenya, Kenya Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge, National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya, 1999, p. 239.

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