PlantsApios→Ground Nut (Apios americana)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Ground Nut
Give a thumbs up Groundnut
Give a thumbs up Potato Bean
Give a thumbs up Indian Potato
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Give a thumbs up Hopniss
Give a thumbs up Wild Bean
Give a thumbs up Wild Potato

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Vine
Life cycle: Other
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Wet Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 11
Plant Height: 6 to 10 feet or more
Leaves: Deciduous
Fruit: Other: Cylindrical, 2 to 4 inch long light green to yellowish-green legume like pods. Each pods contains sevaral seeds.
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Flowers: Showy
Other: Pea like blooms have lackluster coloring and may be pink to purplish or brownish-red.
Flower Color: Other: Dull light pink to brown, lower lobes dark red, purplish-maroon to brown.
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Summer
Underground structures: Tuber
Uses: Vegetable
Will Naturalize
Edible Parts: Roots
Eating Methods: Cooked
Dynamic Accumulator: Nitrogen fixer
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Days to germinate: 10 to 30 days
Other info: sees often fails to mature
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Root
Other: Dividing tubers
Pollinators: Bumblebees
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Miscellaneous: Monoecious


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Posted by jmorth (central Illinois) on Dec 30, 2011 12:25 AM

Habitat in the wild in Illinois and Indiana is damp rich soil along streams, woodland edge, borders of marshes, ponds, and lakes and moist thickets and prairie. The roots form a necklace like series of fleshy tubers 1 to 3 inches long.
Important food source for native North Americans and frontier pioneers. The Osage gathered tubers in the fall and stored them for winter use. Pawnee and Meskwaki used them like potatoes. The bean like seeds were used like peas.
After being informed of the value of groundnuts and how to use them by friendly Indians, pilgrims used them as a major source of food during that first critical winter in 1620. Pilgrim gratitude was short-lived, 34 years later they passed a law forbidding Indians to dig ground nuts on 'English' land.
The tubers are white and have an 'elastic' texture. Tubers were eaten raw, boiled, or roasted. Tubers can be used in soups, stews,or fried like potatoes (w/ 3 times more protein).
Broken stems yield a 'milky' sap. Flowers yield a strong fragrance.
Can be utilized as a container plant.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
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Apios Americana by WAMcCormick Apr 12, 2020 9:32 PM 0
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Anyone know this vine? by TnWildflower Sep 1, 2016 8:52 PM 20
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