Cowpea, Red Ripper

95% of 100

Delicious and high-yielding variety! A rugged and reliable red-seeded cowpea to replenish your soils and fill your belly. This old Southern standby, also formerly known as the Tory pea, dates back to the 1850s. It was especially popular in Alabama and South Carolina. Farmers of yesteryear regarded it highly for the copious foliage or organic matter it produced, making it an exemplary soil-improving companion crop to corn. Since the early 1900s, a number of seed catalogs have lauded this variety for its drought and heat tolerance. A look back through antique American catalogs, especially those from companies in the Southeastern U.S., shows that Red Ripper was a must have on the farm as a sustainable soil builder and delicious treat. This heirloom creates long, running vines, smothered in long 12-14 inch pods that are loaded with nutritious peas, up to 18 in a single shell! The flowers are a beautiful blue and the immature pods make a perfect green bean substitute. In its native range in Africa, the cowpea has historically been grown alongside millet and sorghum as a nurse crop to improve soil. George Washington Carver also sang the praises of this almost-miraculous soil saver. The seeds for cowpeas were brought to the Americas by enslaved Africans, and over subsequent centuries this legume has revived ravaged soils and nourished many.

  • Full Sun
  • Sprouts in 7-14 Days
  • Seed Depth: 1/2-1"
  • Ideal Temperature: 75-95 F
  • Plant Spacing: 6" 
  • Frost Hardy: No
  • Vigna unguiculata

Growing Tips: Soak seeds overnight; direct seed into warm soil in sunny location after last spring frost. Tolerates heat, drought, humidity, but does best with ample moisture. Trellis to conserve space.

Availability: In stock
Minimum Seed Count: 50
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