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by common name

Apios americana

A small vine in the Pea family with velvety, fragrant flowers. Leaves are smooth with 5 to 7 sharp pointed leaflets. Walnut size tubers form on the root system which are edible.


Soil Type - sandy loam
Soil ph - Neutral
Water - moist to dry
Light - Full sun - partial shade


Height - vine, 2 -5 ft.
Time of bloom - August - Sept
Flower colors - maroon - chocolate
Propagation - ?, seed
Transplants - ?

Like other legumes it's a nitrogen-fixing plant. Tubers form on the roots in a string like manner and are used by the plant for food storage. This plant was used as a food source by native americans who taught the early colonists how to use them. The tubers are higher in protein than potatoes but take a couple of years to grow large enoung for pratical use. Long seed pods develop from the flowers that are also edible.

Groundnut Groundnut prefers rich moist soil. Look for it in thickets, along streambanks and open woods. It is often found growing in the same areas as posion ivy.

Found on the banks of the Grasse River just outside the Village of Canton. The plants were growing out of the rocks used as an embankment by the Miner Street bridge. This is the only place I have ever seen them. Use extreme caution around there - the area is full of posion ivy.