GroundnutApios americana Nitrogen-fixing leguminous perennial twining vine with edible tubers. Grows to about 5' long.
Roots grow 1–6" deep and have periodic swellings (the groundnuts) that range from marble size to larger than a golf ball. These edible tubers can be harvested any time of year. Delicious, high in starch, and contain three times the protein of a potato! Peel them first, then eat them boiled, roasted, baked, mashed, sliced, diced, puréed or even made into chips. Not recommended raw.
Will keep a month or more in the fridge or root cellar, or dry them and they keep forever. An essential food for Native Americans for hundreds of years; also essential to the survival of the first European settlers in New England.
Small orchid-like maroon, pink and violet flowers appear in late August in central Maine followed by 2–4" bean pods. Prefers moist sandy soil. Full to partial sun. Keep it out of your garden as it will spread. Can be vigorous and requires a trellis of some sort.
Native to river banks and flood plains, southern Canada, eastern and midwestern U.S. Grown by Carmen Gonzales in Starks, Maine. Z3. Maine Grown. (tubers)
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