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Hog Peanut
Amphicarpaea bracteata

It’s not poison ivy! … of course the best way to know that for sure is to see this plant when it’s flowering in the summer. Then it’s pretty unmistakably not poison ivy.

“This plant is only one of about 30 species worldwide that produces both above- and belowground flowers and fruits. The subterranean flowers don’t open, are self-fertile, and produce fruits with a single large seed. In contract, the aerial flowers open, can cross-pollinate, and produce fruits with 1-3 smaller seeds with greater potential for dispersal. … The production of two types of flowers and two types of fruit is considered a bet-hedging strategy that may reap both short- and long-term benefits.

Size: 2'-8' long vine
Family: Fabaceae (Bean family)
Habitat: Moist to dry forests, forest edges, roadsides.
Identification: A vine that twines, it's an annual and sometimes perennial which has three ovate leaves. The middle leaf extends on a longer stem. Flowers are similar to pea flowers, and are pale lilac to white colored, on long stalks from the leaf axil. Fruits a legume. Flowers July-September, Fruits August-October 
Uses: Native Americans would boil the subterranean fruits which are somewhat similar to garden beans.
All text and photos copyright © 2022 Middle Way Nature Reserve, unless noted.
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