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Cow-pea, Hairypod cowpea
Vigna luteola

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

General Landscape Uses: Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also butterfly gardens.

Availability: Grown by enthusiasts.

Description: Scrambling or creeping vine.

Dimensions: N/A; a vine with stems 6 feet or more in length.

Growth Rate: Fast.

Range: 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.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Pinelands, coastal uplands and disturbed sites.

Soils: 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: Yellow.

Flower Characteristics: Showy, 3/4" long

Flowering Season: All year.

Fruit: 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.

Comments: Can be somewhat weedy, but useful in coastal sites.

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Other data on Vigna luteola available from:

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