General: Legume Family (Fabaceae). Groundnut (Apios americana) is a perennial herb from slender rhizomes with tuberous thickenings 1.3-4 cm (0.5-1.6 in) thick, and stems twining or climbing over other plants. The leaves are alternate, pinnately, egg-shaped, 2-10 cm (3/4-4 in) long, 1.8-7 cm (0.7-2.7 in) wide, and sometimes hairy. The flowers are in rounded clusters among leaves. Groundnut blooms from July to October. The flowers have 5 parts, the upper one round, white and reddish brown, the 2 side wings curved down and brown-purple, the lower 2 petals sickle-shaped and brownish red. The fruits are dry, straight or slightly curved, narrow, and 5-10 mm (3/16-3/8 in) long. The fleshy legume fruits are 6-12 mm (0.2-.5 in) in diameter and indehiscent (the fruit coils back after opening), usually with 1 seed. The seeds are oblong or square, dark brown, with wrinkled surfaces.
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