My father has been growing several varieties of cowpeas and at least three types of whippoorwill peas in his garden in eastern Oklahoma for over fifty years. Some of these came originally from Arkansas through family members; others were purchased at country feed stores.. In reading the descriptions of whippoorwills in the 2003 SSE book, I'm not sure about the varieties. The three different seed colors that are dominant are:
1) Tan with brown speckles. 6-12 per pod. He thinks they are a cross of the next two but from the descriptions in SSE it would seem these are standard whippoorwills,
2) Solid tan. 10-16 peas per pod. He calls these "Improved," though I'm not sure what they are,
3) Black w/ grayish white (or white) speckles. Smaller peas with square ends; heavily crowded in the pods. He can't remember who gave these to him but it has probably been fifty or more years ago and I suspect they were from some of my family around Clinton, Arkansas. We call them Steele's Whippoorwills.
All grow on compact bushes 18"-2 feet high though I remember some bushes larger than that when I was a kid.
The pods are all thin and pointed and tan in color when mature.
My father also grows many types of crowders, cream peas, and other cowpeas. My parents are in their 80's and 90's and live almost entirely from their garden. The reason he has whippoorwills is because of the frequent droughts in Oklahoma == they survive and bear under extreme drought conditions.
This year I raised all three and they all came true to type.
Any help in identifying these would be appreciated.