American Hogpeanut (Amphicarpaea bracteata)

american hogpeanut 2

The Hogpeanut is also called wild peanut.

This plant is so unusual because it produces its seeds both above and below ground and is a member of the bean and pea family.    The  hogpeanut produces two types of flowers.  The above ground flower opens before fertilization and are usually cross pollinated.   The below ground flowers stay closed and are self pollinated.  The below ground seeds are a favorite food of hogs hence the name “Hogpeanut”.       The plant likes a moist humus rich soil and tolerates shady conditions which is another unusual feature.   Most edible seeds plants require lots of sunshine.

american hogpeanut 1

If you want to grow them from seeds you should soak them in warm water for 12 hours and sow the in the spring in a semi shaded area.   They flower during August and September.

The Cherokee used them for different medicinal purposes.   They would take an infusion of the roots to treat diarrhea.   They would also make an infusion to apply to snake bite wounds.   The most common use of the hogpeanut is for food. The beans were used to make bean bread and they were also cooked like pinto beans and added to cornmeal and hot water.    The hogpeanut was a good source for protein.

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