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A picture of a Goat Pea

Goat Pea

Vigna unguiculata

Also known as

Black-Eyed Pea, Black Eyed Pea, Black-Eyed Bean, Cowpea

Photo by Peter Warren (CC0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size




6 months to reach maturity


    • spring
    • summer
    • autumn
    • winter

    This plant has no fragrance

    More images of Goat Pea

    A close up of a Vigna unguiculata flower
    A close up of a Vigna unguiculata plant in flower

    Goat Pea Overview

    Vigna unguiculata originated in Africa but have become a firm favourite around the world. There are lots of heirloom varieties available that produce a range of different sized beans with a variety of different coloured "eyes". The most common variety grown is "California Blackeye" but occasionally frijol ojo de cabra (goat's-eye bean) of northern Mexico, are sometimes incorrectly called black-eyed peas, and vice versa. Vigna unguiculata subsp. dekindtiana is the wild relative and Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis is the related asparagus bean.

    Common problems with Goat Pea

    Generally pest and disease free. However root-knot nematodes can be a problem.

    How to harvest Goat Pea

    Legumes should be ready to harvest between 60 to 90 days after planting. Young tender "snaps" can be harvested before they mature. Young leaves can be harvested and treated in the same way as spinach.

    How to propagate Goat Pea


    Sow seeds when the soil temperature is above 18C (65F). Plant 3 to 4cm (1.5")deep and roughly 7cm (3") apart. Rows should be planted 90cm (3') apart. Seedlings should appear after 5 to 7 days.

    Special features of Goat Pea

    Crop rotation

    This plant helps to fix nitrogen into the soil.

    Attracts useful insects

    The blloms attract a variety of pollinators.

    Other uses of Goat Pea

    This protein rich edible legume is used in many countries around the world, under many different names.