Groundnut (Apios americana)

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Groundnut (Apios americana)

Groundnut is a "forgotten" native food plant of eastern North America. Small wisteria like flowers grace the slender vines.

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I dug some ground-nuts in the railroad bank with my hands this afternoon, the vine being now dead. They were nearly as large as hen's eggs, six inches or a foot beneath the surface, on the end of a root or strung along on it. I had them roasted and boiled at supper time. The skin came readily off like a potato. Roasted, they have an agreeable taste very much like a potato, though somewhat fibrous in texture. With my eyes shut, I should not know but I was eating a rather soggy potato. Boiled, they were unexpectedly quite dry, and though in this instance a little strong, had a more nutty flavor. With a little salt, a hungry man would make a very palatable meal on them. It would not be easy to find them, especially now that the vines are dead, unless you knew beforehand where they grew.

- Henry David Thoreau, October, 1852

Groundnut is distributed through the great prairie from Quebec to Minnesota, North Dakota, south to north central Colorado, Florida, and Texas. The vines grow in wet meadows, low thickets, banks of streams and ponds, sloughs, moist prairie ravines, and moist soil in woodlands.

Plant tubers two to three inches deep in the early spring. After shoots establishment, mulch to stop competition from weeds and grass. Provide the young shoots with a traverse or other objectives upon which to climb. After one year of growth, several one inch-thick tubers can be harvested from each plant.

MoonBranch Botanicals specializes in offering the highest quality fresh and dried botanicals, teas and live plants native to the great eastern hardwood forest of North America.

Please note: Plants native to temperate climates, especially those shipped bare-root, are generally best transplanted during the cooler months (October - March) while in or near a state of dormancy. While we make every attempt to ship as needed by our customers, please realize that there is a greater risk of transplant loss during the hot Summer months. Also realize that many species may lose their above ground portions the current season while the roots remain alive, producing new growth the following Spring.


Disclaimer: The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated our products. All of our products originate in the United States unless otherwise stated.