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Cowpeas have been grouped into the following market classes based on seed type and color:
Brown eye - Pods vary in color from green to lavender and have a wide range of lengths. The immature seeds, when cooked, are a medium to dark brown color, very tender, and have a delicate flavor.
Crowder - Seeds are closely crowded in the pods and tend to be globular in shape.
Clay - These are generally older varieties that are medium to dark brown in color and kidney-shaped. They are no longer commonly grown.
White acre - The peas are kidney-shaped with a blunt end. This type is a semi-crowder, generally tan in color and somewhat small. Pods are quite stiff.