Dalrymple Vigna

Vigna luteola

Vigna luteola is a hairy, short-lived perennial vine that occurs in moist soil and grows in either a spreading or climbing fashion. Producing stems up to 6 metres long. The stems trail over the ground or twine into the surrounding vegetation. The stems root readily where they touch the ground. Taproot present.

Common names 
Also known as: cow pea, hairy cow pea,
Flowering time 
Flowering time appears to vary with provenance. There appears to be a photo-periodic requirement, which could well be confounded with moisture availability
United States of America, Sub tropical America
State declaration 
Council declaration 
NIL - Reduce
Known distribution 

Distributed widely across tropical and subtropical countries around the world. Often introduced as a crop for stock or pasture improvement


Vigna luteola can be found in tropical areas on many continents.It grows in swampy grasslands, on sandy lake shores, on stream sides, in wet pastures, in swamps, and in swamp forests. It prefers moist to wet clay soils, and will tolerate a wide range of salinities, from 0-10 ppt.


Twining, climbing herbaceous vine

Impact and control methods 

This plant may become weedy or invasive in some regions or habitats and may displace desirable vegetation if not properly managed.

Stem and leaves 

Its leaves are trifoliate, meaning they are a compound leaf of three leaflets. The leaflets are oval shaped and become acute at their apex. The leaflets are 2.5–10 cm long, and 1.5–5 cm wide.

Flowers and fruits 

It has numerous yellow flowers that are 1.8–2.2 cm long and are made of one large standard petal, two lateral wing petals, and two lower keel petals. This creates bilateral symmetry in the flower. It has thin, pubescent pods that are up to 4 to 8 cm long and 5–6 mm wide . The pods are range from green to brown or black as they ripen, are straight or slightly curved, plump, but constricted between the 4 to 9 seeds produced. The pod twists spirally when the seeds are dispersed.

Reproduction and dispersal 

Reproduces by seed

Similar species 

Rabbit bells (Crotalaria rotundifolia),  Snakeshake (Crotalaria incana)