Amphicarpaea bracteata (L.) Fernald

Hog Peanut

Amphicarpaea bracteata plant

Family - Fabaceae

Stems - Twining, herbaceous, antrorse or spreading pubescent.

Amphicarpaea bracteata stemStem.

Leaves - Alternate, trifoliolate, petiolate. Stipules at base of petiole 3mm wide, 4mm long. Leaflets ovate to rhombic, variously pubescent to glabrous, entire, to 10cm long, often asymetrical at base, with tiny stipules at base of petiolules. Petiolule of center leaflet much longer than those of lateral leaflets.

Amphicarpaea bracteata leaves

Inflorescence - Pendant, axillary racemes.

Flowers - Chasmogamous flowers to 1.5cm long, papilionaceous. Corolla purplish to plain white. Stamens diadelphous. Calyx of 5 sepals united more than half there length, upper two sepals united for entire length creating a 4-lobed calyx to 5mm long.

Amphicarpaea bracteata flowersPurple flowers.

Amphicarpaea bracteata flowersWhite flowers.

Amphicarpaea bracteata calyxCalyx.

Fruits - (Of chasmogamous flowers) - To 4cm long, flattened, with 3-4 seeds, oblong-linear. Fruits (of cleistogamous flowers) - 1 seeded, pyriform.

Flowering - August - October.

Habitat - Open woods, thickets, moist slopes.

Origin - Native to tropical America. Also cultivated.

Other info. - The fruits produced from the upper flowers should not be eaten. The lower fruits, however, are edible when cooked. The genus name means "two types (kinds) of fruit".
Steyermark lists two varieties for the species. Variety bracteata has the antrorse pubescence and the terminal leaflet is up to 6cm long. Variety comosa (L.) Fern. has spreading pubescence and the terminal leaflet is up to 10cm long. Both are equally common.

Photographs taken in Brown Summit, NC., 9-8-02.