Amphicarpaea bracteata (American Hog Peanut)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Genus:Amphicarpaea
Family:Fabaceae (Pea)
Life cycle:annual, short-lived perennial
Origin:native
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.

Notes:

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

Comments

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

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

Seen August 2010

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

Seen August 2010

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

Spotted near the Sibley house along the river in Mendota.

Posted by: Gabriel - South Minneapolis
on: 2014-06-09 01:51:52

I found this growing on the shady northeast side of my house. I transplanted it to a few new places. It's a gentle little vine, and while the flowers and pods aren't showy, they're interesting when you look at them up close. It may be the only vining legume that grows well in shade.

Posted by: cookie
on: 2014-07-04 22:43:43

This plant has taken over my garden. Bufrying a climbing rosebush. I pulled most of it out before I discovered what it was. Still plent left in varios spot through out garden will try to find a place for them where they won,toverwhelm other plants

Posted by: Christy - St. Paul
on: 2014-07-14 19:24:45

This vine is coming up everywhere in my garden! I pull it up because it twines around my perennials but there is still plenty left. It's a pretty vine. Will it kill the bushes it covers in summer or can they coexist?

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2014-07-14 20:23:13

Christy, it coexists with the other plants in the wild and it seems to play nicely enough with its neighbors wherever I've encountered it. Having said that, your garden probably does not have the natural competition that keeps hog peanut in check in wild populations.

Posted by: Marnie - Goodhue County
on: 2014-07-22 20:58:41

We have LOTS of hog peanut growing in various regions adjacent to our lawn. I'm not sure I like the way it is covering our black-raspberry bushes. I also noticed the comment above about roses. It's almost impossible to pull off, because it twines many times around the stems. Any hints?

Posted by: Maureen - Lakeville
on: 2014-07-30 14:45:06

This vine is growing everywhere in my yard! It has taken over many parts of my gardens. It was never a problem in years past. The first time I noticed it, was about 2 years ago. The problem is that I cannot pull it off of my perennial plants. It winds itself around them tightly. It also seems to grow so dense that it shades many of the plants, causing them to wither. I do not believe this is healthy for the other plants. I don't think it plays nice. I also noticed that it is growing in many, many places around here. I saw a lot of it at Murphy Hanrahan Park Preserve. I have also seen it and other people's gardens. I wish I could eradicate it. Every time I try to pull it up, it is hanging onto the plant so tightly, that it damages them. Is there anything that can be done, other than try to pull it up by its roots? It is almost impossible to get to the base of the plant. Will it ever go away? It seems to be getting worse every year.

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