Apios - Groundnut, Potato Bean, Wild Bean
DESCRIPTION: This hardy North American plant was valued as food by Native Americans and frontiersmen who compared the leguminous plant to beans because of its pods, and the small, starchy, tubers produced in strings, to potatoes. Apios is commonly called Groundnut, Wild Bean and Potato Bean. This climbing plant does resemble sparsely-leaved pole beans and can grow from 5 to 7 feet high. They bear clusters of fragrant, purplish-brown, pea-shaped flowers during the summer. This plant is pretty enough to just be grown as a wild garden subject. This plant grows as a wild perennial from Texas north to Minnesota and to the East Coast.
POTTING: This plant prefers sandy, fertile soil. Grow them as annuals and treat them as you would pole beans. It would be beneficial if they were interplanted among Sweet Corn because Groundnuts prefer light shade. In the fall, the tubers may be dug and dried thoroughly. Take care to keep the strings of the little tubers together to minimize loss and reduce volunteers.
PROPAGATION: Groundnuts are started from tubers or from seeds harvested from the pods.
VARIETIES: A. americana
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