Groundnut (Apios americana), Improved Variety
Groundnut, Apios americana Tubers
-Available in bundles of 10 or 100 tubers
Groundnuts are a lovely, native, productive, perennial vegetable. The tubers are delicious and store incredibly well.
This an improved variety of Groundnut from Louisiana State University's breeding program. They were selected for larger tuber size. These specific tubers come from 1-year-old plants. The tubers will be substantially larger if harvested after 2 growing seasons.
- They will be shipped unwashed for greater longevity.
- Packages may include a variety of different sized tubers. If small tubers are included, I always try to include plenty of extras. Even the smallest of tubers will have the same enhanced plant genetics of the large ones, and if given a chance will form healthy and happy plants capable of producing large tubers.
Latin name: Apios americana
Other Names: Indian potato, potato bean, hodoimo
Zone Compatibility: 3-10
Light: Full sun, Part shade
Moisture Requirements: moderate, mesic
Preferred PH: Acidic, Neutral
Form: Large Vine
Height: 4-8 Feet
Growth Rate: Medium, Fast
Native Region: Eastern North America. As far north as southern Canada, as far south as Florida, and as far east a Colorado.
Native Habitat: Meadows, thickets, hedge
Edible Parts: Tuber- Tastes like a nutty potato
Bean- Tastes like a pea
Nutrition: Tuber- Has three times the protein as potatoes. They are a good source of calcium and iron, and there is evidence of anti-cancer activity.
Food Preparation: They are often cooked as you would a potato. They can also be baked into chips or dried, and ground into a flour.
History of Use: Important food to Native Americans. They would harvest it in the wild and transplant the tubers to create stands closer to their settlements. Has been cultivated in Japan for 100 years.
Edibility Season: Once established, Groundnut can be harvested at any time of year. Tuber size after two seasons of growth will be substantially larger than after one season of growth.
Planting: They can be planted at any time of year. Although if you want to harvest a sizable crop they need to be planted in early spring, or in fall of the previous season. Plant them 12”-18” apart. They can be grown on a trellis, or as a groundcover.
Maintenance: Once a stand is established they will mostly maintain themselves. If you weed and mulch them, they will grow more tubers, and harvesting will be easier. Weeding must be done carefully because the young vines can be delicate, and if they have wrapped around a weed that is being pulled, it is possible to uproot the plant. Heavy mulching seems to make a much easier crop to harvest, as a lot of the tubers will grow through the mulch.
Harvest: Dig up with your favorite implement and enjoy. Leaving behind a tuber for each plant harvested will ensure that the stand will be maintained, although, in my experience, enough tubers will accidentally be left behind to continue the population.
Propagation: By tuber division, cuttings, or by seed.
Other Uses: Nitrogen-fixer, shelter for beneficial insects, nectar for beneficial insects, ground cover