Ebony PR Cowpea

Vigna unguiculata

  • High seed yields
  • High nutritive value and paltability
  • Easy to establish
  • Improves soil fertility through nitrogen fixation

    Download a copy of the Ebony PR Cowpea factsheet.


    Species origin:

    West Africa but widely cultivated as a grain crop in tropical and subtropical areas between 35⁰N and 30⁰S.



    Ebony was released in Australia as a grazing type of cowpea suited to subtropical coastal areas with high rainfall or in areas with irrigation.  It has good tolerance to Phytophthora root disease and has been recommended for use in dairy farms or cane rotations.


    Plant characteristics:

    • Growth habit – variable growth habit depending on cultivars.  It can be used for dual purpose – for grain and for forage.  It is an annual with herbaceous growth habit – from prostrate trailing plant to climbing vine.  It has high seed yields and both seed and plant parts have high nutritive value and palatability.  It is easy to establish and is known to improve soil fertility through nitrogen fixation.
    • Adaptation – adaptable to a range of soil types and has greater drought tolerance than other pulses.
    • Use – grain for human forage for livestock are common applications.


    Seed characteristics:

    Seeds are variable in size and shape – square to oblong shapes with 5,000 – 12,000  seeds/kg

    Seeding rate – commonly 10-40kg/ha, but higher seeding rate can be used under more favourable growing conditions.


    Forage Cereals & Herbs

    Oats, wheat, barley or triticale, have the potential to be an integral part of providing year round feed in a dryland farming system. They provide feed to overcome autumn & winter forage shortages, allow the making of whole crop cereal silage & provide the dual options of grazing & grain production.