AFRICAN PEA, Iron & Clay
Approximately 100 seeds per pack.
Germination ~ 89% Packed for 2023.
This vegetable seems to have a different name in each section of the country. Southern peas are also called cowpeas, field peas, crowder peas, and black-eyed peas. Several varieties have historically been cultivated in Africa, and were transported to the Americas via the transatlantic slave trade, hence a new term, African Peas. By whatever name you call them, they’re an old favorite in the South and can be grown where both days and nights are warm for a period of 60-90 days.
This special pair of peas (typically grown together and considered a single variety) was brought from Africa to the U.S. by enslaved Africans long before the American Revolution. According to George Washington Carver's 1908 Cookbook of Field Pea Recipes, the Clay peas were carried as rations by Confederate soldiers, while both Iron and Clay peas sustained newly freed Black people after the Civil War. The plants themselves are vigorous and drought hardy, and make a great nitrogen-fixing cover crop. Like all field peas, the leaves are edible too.
This is considered a day-length-sensitive variety, so it typically doesn't start flowering until nights lengthen to around 11 hours. Late maturing pods can be harvested for the kitchen (fresh southern peas are the best!) or used for animal fodder. This variety has good root-knot nematode resistance. The sprawling vines will climb if given a chance, and this will increase productivity. 6-7 in. pods are loaded light tan and brown seeds.