Four subspecies of cowpeas are recognised, of which three are cultivated. A high level of morphological diversity is found within the species with large variations in the size, shape, and structure of the plant. Cowpeas can be erect, semierect (trailing), or climbing. The crop is mainly grown for its seeds, which are high in protein, although the leaves and immature seed pods can also be consumed. Cultivated cowpeas are known by the common names black-eyed pea, southern pea, yardlong bean, catjang, and crowder pea. They were domesticated in Africa and are one of the oldest crops to be farmed. A second domestication event probably occurred in Asia, before they spread into Europe and the Americas. The seeds are
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