Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ground Nut - Apios americana


Ground nut (Apios americana) is an herbaceous vine native to much of Florida and nearly all of eastern North America.  It is most commonly encountered in moist areas, such as the edge of streams, and in partial sun to mostly shady locations.  It is more tolerant of less moisture and more sun, once established, but it will perform best if given conditions that approach what it prefers in nature.
Ground nut, like most vines, can be somewhat aggressive and difficult to control in a well-manicured landscape.  But, in less formal settings, it has much to offer.  For one, its tubers and seeds are edible and once were important to the diet of Native Americans and the early colonial settlers.  The tubers were used in soups and stews or fried like potatoes.  Because it is a member of the legume family, the seeds (likes peas and beans) are high in protein and quite nutritious as well.
Ground nut is also a wonderful addition to a butterfly garden; being the larval food of the silver-spotted skipper.  Though this skipper may not simply magically appear in an urban landscape just because this wildflower is added, it most certainly will not show up if it isn't. 
Flowering occurs in the mid summer months and the blooms are quite showy.  Clusters of mahogany to maroon pea-like flowers dangle from the leaf axils and attract bees and other polliantors.  Eventually, the pollinated flowers produce "beans" about 2-3 inches long.  When they ripen, they split open and scatter the pea-like seeds away from the parent.
Despite its many positive qualities, some thought should be given before adding this to a landscape.  Vines in general tend to spread and ramble throughout the landscape in conditions that are favorable.  Once well established, they may be difficult to remove if you change your mind.  And, the tubers increase in size over the years and become difficult to pull out.
I believe ground nut is best planted at the edge of a shady woodland landscape setting and maintained on a trellis or fence.  Its spread will be restricted somewhat by direct sunlight and it will mostly remain within the shadier locations and on the supporting structure.  It also could be effectively used in a woodland that is allowed to develop naturally and without much maintenance.
We have recently begun propagating ground nut at Hawthorn Hill and will have some nice sturdy plants ready by summer.  If you are interested, let us know.  We are growing it in very limited numbers at this time.

4 comments:

  1. Hello:
    I would love to purchase some Apios from you.
    Please contact me at:
    (seven zero four) nine zero zero - three one one zero.

    Thank You

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very interesting work. We have a small farm here in zephyrhills Fl. We are focus on developing self-sufficient methods of farming for small farms. I am very interested in purchasing some apios americana I have a bamboo fence following the edge of a shady patch of woods that I think would be splendid. I would love top get maybe 10 to 20 plants.
    Contact me at emailwes333@yahoo.com or call 813-727-3304
    Thanks,
    WesleyB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good Day dear Mr Giuliano !

      Thank you for your inquire in Agri Expo about our production.


      My name is Ayrat FAKHRUTDINOV. I am the area sales responsible in CELIKEL.

      Our company is producing and exporting machines to 60 countries and now we increase export in Europe and hope to develop some business together with a reliable company .

      Please let me introduce our company, CELIKEL, to you by this opportunity.

      CELIKEL is a registered company specializing in livestock and agriculture machinery to the extent of forage harvesters, maize choppers, balers, bale loaders, feed mixers and more.

      Years of production, service, and experience has enabled us to produce the most suitable machines at its finest.
      As a family-owned company, we’ve been serving to the Turkish and International agriculture for more than 60 years and we acknowledge the needs of the farmers we are serving very well.
      Thanks to that, we now are one of the leading companies in the Turkish market and also a key player in the world by our product range which we %100 manufactured in our production facility of 16.000 m2 in Konya, Turkey with our 148 professional staff which of 15 are engineers.

      Quality and details of the products, haste, and capability of our services are the sources of our pride.
      Constant development and strive to establish a better, efficient and a customer-satisfying service is accepted as our mission.




      Saygılarımla / Best Regards

      Delete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete

Please let me know if this site and the various postings have been useful to you.