Amphicarpaea bracteata (American Hog Peanut)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Family:Fabaceae (Pea)
Life cycle:annual, short-lived perennial
Habitat:part shade, shade; moist woods, thickets
Bloom season:July - September
Plant height:1 to 5 foot vine
USDA PLANTS database:Minnesota county distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: irregular Cluster type: raceme

[photo of flowers] Flowers are in a compact cluster at the end of a long stem that arises from a leaf axil. A cluster has from a few to many flowers and spreads out as the plant matures. Each flower is an elongated pea-shape about ½ inch long and violet, 2-tone purple and white, or all white/cream colored. There are 5 lobes; the upper 2 lobes roll up on the outer edge.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: compound

[photo of leaves] Leaves are compound in groups of 3 at the end of a long stem and have varying degrees of hairiness. Each leaflet has a sharply pointed tip; the base is usually asymetrical and may be rounded or tapering, or roughly egg to diamond shaped. The middle leaflet is larger than the other 2, to 3 inches long and 2½ inches wide, and has a longer leaf stem. The main stem is quite hairy. This vine lacks tendrils, so the main stem entwines itself around other plants for support.

Fruit: Fruit type: capsule/pod

[photo of seeds] Green pea pods to 1½ inches long, each containing 3 or 4 seeds, are scattered along the main stem.


American Hog Peanut has 2 kinds of flower and seed—the second type of flower is near the base of the plant and does not open so isn't readily visible even if you're looking for it. Its seed is pear shaped, and edible. The peas on the upper plant are inedible.

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More photos

Photos taken at Long Lake Regional Park, New Brighton, MN August-September 2007


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Mark in Vista Hills Park, Maplewood MN
on: 2010-08-21 14:06:10

Seen August 2010

Posted by: Mark in Oakdale Nature Preserve, Oakdale MN
on: 2010-08-21 14:06:42

Seen August 2010

Posted by: Steven in Duluth, MN
on: 2010-11-14 21:59:36

I saw this flower in the rocks next to the boardwalk on the Lake Superior side of Canal Park in front of the Inn on Lake Superior. It was on September 20, 2010.

Posted by: Dennis in New York Mills
on: 2011-05-22 12:34:18

I have this vine growing at Big Pine Lake between New York Mills and Perham.

Posted by: Mary in Little Pine Lake, Perham MN
on: 2011-08-20 14:43:07

I have this vine growing among some spirea in a shaded area of my yard.

Posted by: Charlene in Dakota County
on: 2012-08-21 08:06:45

Spotted near the Sibley house along the river in Mendota.

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