American hog peanut

(Amphicarpaea bracteata var. comosa)

Conservation Status
American hog peanut (var. comosa)
 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Midwest

FAC - Facultative

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FAC - Facultative

     
           
 
Description
 
 

American hog peanut (var. comosa) is a sprawling or climbing, 6 to 60 long, herbaceous, annual vine that rises from a taproot. It spreads by producing above-ground or underground creeping runners (stolons).

The stem is slender, round, light green to reddish green, and covered with spreading, tawny hairs. It does not produce tendrils. It climbs by spiraling clockwise at the tip around the stem of another plant (twining).

The leaves are alternate and pinnately divided into 3 leaflets. The leaf stalks (petioles) are slender and ¾ to 4 long. At the base of each petiole there is a pair of small appendages (stipules). Each stipule is egg-shaped or lance-shaped, about wide, and to 3 16 long.

The leaflet stalks of the two lateral leaflets are no more than long, while that of the terminal leaflet is ¾ to 1½ long. At the base of each leaflet stalk is a pair of tiny, secondary stipules (stipels). Each leaflet is broadly lance egg-shaped or diamond egg-shaped, 1 to 4 long, and ¾ to 2¾ wide. The blade tapers to a point at the tip and is broadly rounded, broadly angled or almost straight across, and often uneven at the base. The upper and lower surfaces are hairless or covered with appressed hairs. The margins are untoothed.

There are two types of inflorescences. One type is a conspicuous, unbranched, elongated cluster (raceme) of 1 to 17 flowers droops from many of the leaf axils at the end of a ½ to 2½ long stalk. The racemes are crowded and are up to 2 long. Individual flowers are on short stalks that are subtended by a pair of conspicuous bracts.

Each flower in the raceme is ½ to ¾ long. At the base of the flower there are 5 light green sepals. The sepals are united for most of their length into a tube then divided into 4 lance-shaped or triangular, 1 32 to 1 16 long lobes. There are 5 pale purple to whitish petals. The petals form a butterfly-like corolla, as is typical of plants in the Pea family. They are organized into a broad banner petal at the top, two narrow, lateral, wing petals, and between the wings two petals fused into a keel. The keel is longer than the wings and is curved upward. The banner is upright, notched at the tip, and folded back along the edges.

The other inflorescence type is self-pollinating, closed flowers produced on stolons near the ground level. These flowers have no petals and are inconspicuous. The produce seed pods that are buried in the ground.

The aerial fruit (produced from the open flowers) is a pod with 1 to 4 seeds. It is not edible. The pod is to 1½ long and flattened. There is a short, curved tip (beak) at the end of the pod. The seeds are kidney-shaped and brown.

The buried fruit (produced from the closed flowers) is a pod with a single seed. The pod is round, fleshy, and ¼ to ½ in diameter. It is edible if cooked. The seed weighs 16 times more than the seed of the aerial pod.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

Twining: up to 60 long

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

Pale purple to whitish

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  American hog peanut (Amphicarpaea bracteata var. bracteata) stem is covered with appressed, white hairs, not spreading, tawny hairs. The leaflets are no more than 2½ long.  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Moderate moisture to wet. Open woods, thickets, meadows, prairies, roadsides. Full to partial sun.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

August to September

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 29, 30.

 
  5/30/2020      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Rosanae  
 

Order

Fabales (legumes, milkworts, and allies)  
 

Family

Fabaceae (peas, legumes)  
  Subfamily Faboideae (Papilionoideae)  
  Tribe Phaseoleae  
  Subtribe Glycininae  
  Genus Amphicarpaea (hog peanut)  
 

Species

Amphicarpaea bracteata (American hog peanut)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
       
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Amphicarpaea comosa

Amphicarpaea pitcheri

Falcata comosa

Falcata pitcheri

Glycine comosa

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

American hog peanut

American hogpeanut

American hog-peanut

hog peanut

hog-peanut

lowland hog peanut

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Axil

The upper angle where a branch, stem, leaf stalk, or vein diverges.

 

Beak

A comparatively short and stout, narrow or prolonged tip on a thickened organ, as on some fruits and seeds.

 

Bract

Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.

 

Pinnate

Having the leaflets of a compound leaf arranged on opposite sides of a common stalk.

 

Raceme

An unbranched, elongated inflorescence with stalked flowers. The flowers mature from the bottom up.

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

 

Stipel

A small, secondary, stipule-like appendage found at the base of a leaflet stalk.

 

Stipule

A small, leaf-like, scale-like, glandular, or rarely spiny appendage found at the base of a leaf stalk, usually occurring in pairs and usually dropping soon.

 

Stolon

An above-ground, creeping stem that grows along the ground and produces roots and sometimes new plants at its nodes. A runner.

 

Twining

Growing in a spiral usually around a stem of another plant that serves as support.

       
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Flower

  American hog peanut (var. comosa)    
       

Stem

  American hog peanut (var. comosa)    
       
       
       

 

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