The American Groundnut is a perennial vine that has brown-pea-like flowers. It is a wildflower that is native to North America from southern Canada, down to Florida and west to Colorado. It has edible beans and large, edible tubers. Also known as the potato bean and Indian potato. The tubers are highly palatable and similar in texture to a potato but with a nuttier flavor, hence the name American groundnut. leaves are mid-green and pinnately compound. The flowers are curious and very unusual, with a typical pea-like form but with a unique coloration. They are brown to reddish brown or purple, with a pale brown outer surface and a striped, light green base of the banner petal. The flowers are lightly fragrant and have a scent that has been likened to violets. It is grown commercially in Japan and South Korea as an edible plant and it is also grown as an ornamental flower. Grows in woodlands and swamps. Hardy in zones 3-10.
Growing Instructions for the American Groundnut
- Soak the seed in water for several hours. 2. Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet. 3. Put the seeds on the soil. 4. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. 5. Water the seeds. 6. Place the pots in an area with warm temperatures in full sun or part shade. 7. When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.