Common Name groundnut, "Nutty"& other improved clones
Form herbaceous vine
Origin North America
Light sun to part
Moisture wet to mesic
Edible tubers & fodder
It grows to 3–4 m long, with pinnate leaves 8–15 cm long with 5–7 leaflets. The flowers are red-brown to purple, produced in dense racemes. The fruit is a legume pod 6–12 cm long. The tubers are crunchy and nutritious, with a high content of starch and especially protein. The plant was one of the most important food plants of pre-European North America, and is being developed for domestication.
Tuber can be eaten raw or cooked and has a delicious flavor somewhat like roasted sweet potatoes. The tuber can also be dried and ground into a powder then used as a thickening in soups, etc, or can be added to cereal flours when making bread. Tubers contain 17% crude protein, this is more than 3 times that found in potatoes.
The tubers can be harvested in their first year but they take 2 - 3 years to become a sizeable crop. They can be harvested at any time of the year but are at their best in the autumn. The tubers can also be harvested in the autumn and will store until at least the spring.
Seed can also be cooked, although rather small and not produced very freely; they are used like peas and beans. A good source of protein, they can be ground into a powder and added to cereals when making bread, etc.