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APIOS americana

Image of Apios americana

Family

Fabaceae

Botanical Name

APIOS americana

Plant Common Name

American potato-bean, Ground-bean, Groundnut

General Description

This twining herbaceous perennial from central and eastern North America is grown primarily for its edible tubers, which were a staple food of American Indians and early European colonists.

This hardy plant forms a network of underground rhizomes laced with spherical to ellipsoid tubers that resemble small potatoes. Cooked tubers are edible. Long twining stems with alternate compound leaves arise from the rhizomes in spring. The pinnate leaves have five to nine leaflets. In summer plants produce dense domed clusters of fragrant hooded flowers with dusky pink exteriors and reddish brown interiors. Green beanpod-like fruits may follow the flowers.

Plant groundnut in full sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained, humus-rich soil. It makes an interesting addition to vegetable gardens and edible landscapes, but can become a nuisance in more formal areas of the landscape.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 9

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    6'-12' / 1.8m - 3.7m

  • Width

    2'-5' / 0.6m - 1.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, Central United States, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Vining/Climbing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Pink, Light Pink, Burgundy, Dark Red, Brown

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Fruit Color

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Edible, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    No