Daily Archives: August 26, 2021


Groundnut or Potato Bean (Apios americana): Emmon’s Preserve, Kennebunkport, Maine, USA — This is a new plant for me, at 74 years of age, so either I have not gotten out enough (not true), or there are still things for me to discover even at my age. It is not a particularly rare plant either…just one that I have not come across. It is a vine and produces, as you might guess from the common names (and “Indian Potato” is another, if less culturally sensitive, common name for Apios americana) both edible beans and a large edible tuber. It is native to North American, and historically it was a stable of Indigenous American diets from New England to Florida and west to the Rockies. It is currently cultivated and an important food source in certain regions of Japan, and its medicinal and nutritional benefits have been extensively researched and promoted there. There is an comprehensive and well referenced wikipedia article on the plant if you want more info…but suffice it to say that it is generally recognized to very good for you, better than a potato in many unique curative ways 🙂 It is not cultivated outside Japan largely because it takes two years for the tuber to develop…which means you can get two crops of potatoes for every one crop of groundnuts. The flowers are quite striking…one theory is that it was introduced to Japan as an ornamental. The plants I saw at Emmon’s Preserve appear to be growing wild, on either side of a busy trail at the edge of a big meadow. I have walked that trail hundreds of times, but only saw the plants last week, probably because they were in flower. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 800 @ f4 @ 1/500th.