To be honest, I never understood why seed catalogs referred to black-eyed peas as “cowpeas” until I skimmed through this fascinating
crappy old book, The Leguminosae: A Source Book of Characteristics, Uses, and Nodulation (1981). If I’m reading this correctly, the black-eyed pea is one of three cultivated forms of cowpeas which are differentiated based on the shape and length of the pods and seeds.
The first use of the term “cowpea” is attributed to Thomas Jefferson (p.684).
Is there anything he didn’t do? Well. Yeah. But geeze lueeze! What have you contributed to the cause of Liberty? Or horticulture? Or architecture? And he did not like that bastard Hamilton. He’s got that in this favor.
You should see the black-eyes in the front yard. They are amazing!
Dang. I had no idea that
crappy old book was so expensive. I found it on the “freebie” table at the library the other day along with some other crappy old biology-type books. Lucky me!