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Hopniss Apios americana

Previously known as:

  • Apios americana var. turrigera
  • Glycine apios
Phonetic Spelling
A-pee-os a-mer-ih-KAY-na
Description

Common Groundnut is a native perennial vine in the legume family and is found in tidal and non-tidal marshes, wet thickets, stream banks and bottomland forests. It has edible fruits and large edible tubers that provide numerous health benefits. Although the fruit and seeds are edible, it is the tuber that is most desirable but the only place it is cultivated as a food crop is in Japan. The vine can grow 8-16 feet long.

Plant tubers two to three inches deep in the early spring and mulch to stop competition from weeds and grass. Provide the young shoots with something to climb on. After one year of growth, several one-inch-thick tubers can be harvested from each plant. It will grow in sun to partial shade and needs moist conditions, preferring sandy or gravelly loams with some humus added.

The vines and flowers are ornamental enough to grow for their looks but will spread to form colonies and can become weedy.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#NC native#climbing vines#native vine#twining vine#larval host plant#food source summer#NC Native Pollinator Plant#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains FACW#mammals#maroon flowers#butterfly friendly#birds#edible tuber#pea-shaped flowers#edible legume
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#NC native#climbing vines#native vine#twining vine#larval host plant#food source summer#NC Native Pollinator Plant#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains FACW#mammals#maroon flowers#butterfly friendly#birds#edible tuber#pea-shaped flowers#edible legume
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Apios
    Species:
    americana
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Native Americans used the tubers extensively for food and taught settlers how to use them.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Canada, southeastern and central U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , CO , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV Canada: NB , NS , ON , PE , QC
    Wildlife Value:
    Larval host for Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus). Mammals will eat the fruits and roots.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Climbing Method:
    Twining
    Edibility:
    Cooked, mature tubers are similar to a potato but have a nuttier flavor and finer texture. They also have 3 times the protein of potatoes as well as numerous other health benefits. The legume is also edible.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Vine
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Climbing
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Legume
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Fleshy dry bean-shaped legume 2-4 inches long with several seeds July to Sept.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Irregular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Maroon or reddish-brown pea-like flowers with 5 petals in compact racemes arising from leaf axils. Blooms from June to Aug.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Egg-shaped pinnately compound leaves with 5-7 leaflets up to 2 inches long and 1 inch wide. Hairs sometimes present on the paler undersides.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Twining green stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Vertical Spaces
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Edible Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Screen/Privacy
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Problems:
    Weedy