Scientific Name: Apios americana

Common Name: groundnut

Other Common Names: groundnut, wild potato, Indian potato, wild sweet potato, American potato bean, wild bean, ground bean, hopniss, dakota peas, sea vines, pea vines, pomme de terre, patates en chapelet, american potato bean

Synonyms: Glycine apios

Habit: forb/herb/vine

Leaves: The leaves are alternate, pinnately, egg-shaped, 2-10 cm (3/4-4 in) long, 1.8-7 cm (0.7-2.7 in) wide, and sometimes hairy.

Identifying Characteristics: Legume Family (Fabaceae). Groundnut (Apios americana) is a perennial herb from slender rhizomes with tuberous thickenings 1.3-4 cm (0.5-1.6 in) thick, and stems twining or climbing over other plants.Groundnut blooms from July to October. The flowers have 5 parts, the upper one round, white and reddish brown, the 2 side wings curved down and brown-purple, the lower 2 petals sickle-shaped and brownish red.

Flower Seed Head: The flowers are in rounded clusters among leaves.The fruits are dry, straight or slightly curved, narrow, and 5-10 mm (3/16-3/8 in) long. The fleshy legume fruits are 6-12 mm (0.2-.5 in) in diameter and indehiscent (the fruit coils back after opening), usually with 1 seed.

Seed Fruit: The seeds are oblong or square, dark brown, with wrinkled surfaces.

Where Found: Groundnut is distributed through the great prairie from Quebec to Minnesota, North Dakota, south to north central Colorado, Florida, and Texas.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Plant type: Vine

  • Plant family: Fabaceae