American Groundnut, Apios americana, is a perennial, herbaceous vine native to the Eastern United States and Canada. American Groundnut commonly grows in moist thickets, stream banks, or wetlands in full sun to part shade. A vigorous vine, American Groundnut grows between 8 and 16 feet long. Highly attractive purple flowers, reminiscent of wisteria, bloom in summer. Groundnut has a long history of use as a food crop in the Americas. Native Americans dug the tubers to be fried or boiled and eaten much like a potato. American Groundnut is also commercially cultivated in Japan. Each vine produces a string of small tubers, up to 1 inch in diameter. Best grown in humus rich, moist soil in full sun. Needs some support, such as a trellis or fence, to climb.
Photo: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center