The inheritance pattern of protein content in seeds of two crosses of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L) Walp) was studied. It was observed that, in both crosses, inheritance of the character involved both additive and non-additive gene effects. Heritability in the broad sense was 0·70–0·78. A significant effect of pollen source was detected in one of the two crosses. In both crosses, comparison of seed protein content of reciprocal segregating generations indicated the influence of cytoplasmic factors.