Seed dormancy and soil longevity characteristics of three weedy cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.] cultivars were investigated. Seed germination was maximum at 40 C; however, ‘Clay’ had greater germination than ‘Black’ or ‘Red Ripper’ cowpea at temperatures ≥ 20 C. Concentrated sulfuric acid soaks, hot (70 C)-water soaks, and piercing the seed coat promoted germination. Seed with an initial water content of 12.3% were stored at relative humidities ranging from 0 to 60% at 25 C. After 4 weeks of storage at relative humidities of 0 to 50%, seed water content varied from 4.6 to 11.4%. Germination and hard seed content was 11% or more and 89% or less, respectively, for seed with water content ranging from 6.9 to 11.4%. Except for seed with an initial water content of 6.9%, cowpea seed water content increased after 3 weeks of storage in a 70% relative humidity environment. Rehydration increased germination for seed with initial water content of 9.2% or more, but not for seed with initial water content of 8.4% or less. In mid-November 1981 and 1982, Black, Clay, Red Ripper, and sicklepod (Cassia obtusifolia L. # CASOB) seed were buried at soil depths of 2.5, 7.5, and 15 cm for 3, 6, and 9 months. Seed survival of Black and Red Ripper was similar to that of sicklepod; however, longevity of Clay seed was less than sicklepod. Survival was greater for seed buried in 1981 than in 1982 because of low seed water content of the 1981 seedlots.