Ground Nut (Apios americana) is a perennial vine native to North America. It has dark green leaves that are alternately arranged and pinnately compound with 5-9 leaflets. The flowers are small and yellow and appear in clusters, and the plant produces edible tubers that are a staple food for many indigenous tribes.
Ground Nut can grow to be quite large, with vines reaching up to 30 feet in length. It is a fast-growing plant and can be differentiated from similar plants by its pinnately compound leaves and yellow flowers.
This plant prefers moist, well-drained soils and can tolerate partial shade to full sun. In order to cultivate it successfully, a grower might need to provide support for the vines to climb on and keep the soil consistently moist. Ground Nut is winter hardy and can tolerate cold temperatures.
The tubers of the Ground Nut plant are edible and can be harvested in the fall. They can be boiled, roasted, or mashed and have a nutty flavor. The tubers can be stored by drying them in the sun or by keeping them in a cool, dry place.
In addition to being a food source, the Ground Nut plant has many other uses. The vines can be used for weaving baskets or mats, and the tubers have medicinal properties and can be used to treat wounds and other ailments. The plant also has nitrogen-fixing abilities, making it useful for improving soil fertility. It is also valued by wildlife for its edible tubers.