(Vigna unguiculata) Very easy to grow, colorful, and tasty. Cowpeas are popular in the Southern US, Africa, and Asia. They originated in Africa, and tolerate heat, drought and humidity much better than common beans do. They are great picked young for use as green snap beans, and stir-fried or boiled. They also make a great cover crop, sown in spring or summer and tilled into the soil when flowers begin to appear. Plant seeds about an inch deep after frosts have ceased and soil is warm. Most types “run,” meaning they grow long vines, and so 3-5 feet should be allowed between rows.