AFRICAN PEA Rouge Et Noir (Southern Pea)
Approximately 50 seeds per packet
Germination: 84% Packed for 2023
A Southern pea aptly named "Red and Black" in French, this heirloom cowpea hails from Washington Parrish, Louisiana. Southern Exposure Seed Exchange writes that this variety has large seeds that are red when fresh and black when dried, and that it is similar to Peking Black, but produces earlier.
William Woys Weaver notes that these peas are traditionally cooked with lima beans and green peanuts in Louisiana. Weaver himself describes them as long (about 10 ½ inches), shelly beans with up to 18 seeds per pod, a very productive, drought tolerant bush type that produces runners. In his book "100 Vegetables and Where They Come From," Weaver also notes that the fresh, young pods are lovely snap beans or as an accompanying ingredient in okra soup, and that they have commonly been toasted and mixed with roasted chicory root as a coffee substitute. These seeds have been grown from those which originally made their way to William Woys Weaver from the Lang family of Washington Parrish, LA, who kept up this variety for many years.
Days to maturity: 63 Direct sow peas safely after frost, any time between late May and mid-July. Trellis this climbing vine. Plant 1" deep with 3-4" spacing. Legumes can thrive in poor soils and are nitrogen fixing which improves soil. These peas are self-pollinating, so we recommend isolate different varieties of V. unguiculata (including black-eyed peas, southern peas, cowpeas, and long beans) at least 20 feet, so to avoid crossing. Dry peas until brown and papery.