Wild bean or pea? Please help with ID.

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by Vmates, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. Vmates

    Vmates Member

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    Location:
    Kings Mountain, NC USA
    Hello.

    This is a climber that has come up in a couple of areas that I normally maintain, but have not done so this year...so this is the first time I have seen it bloom. This appears to me to be something possibly in the legume family, but I cannot find a match. As the photos show, it is a vine with a very fine stem or tendril, which is smooth and "woody". The foliage is a 3-lobed leaflet, and fairly small. The young leaves are identical to the mature foliage, only much smaller. The foliage is smooth and soft, but not glossy or downy. The plant has sprouted up in a few areas of my property, but seems more to prefer the areas that receive a good mix of shade and sun; though I have one area that gets sun all day and it seems happy there.
    The flowers are borne in small clusters on stems of their own. They do not seem to have a fragrance.
    I live in a heavily wooded area, mostly deciduous trees. I live in western NC, but not quite in the Appalachian area (Kings Mountain/Crowder's Mountain). Most everything on my property are native or naturalized plants. I would like to know if this climber is something I should encourage in this area. Though it seems to climb up other plants, it does not appear to be so aggressive that it could replace the other plants. Any help would be appreciated.
     

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  2. saltcedar

    saltcedar Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    Looks like Hog Peanut (Amphicarpa bracteata).
     
  3. Vmates

    Vmates Member

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    Bang on! I checked it out on line as soon as I saw your reply. It is a perfect match. Strange, but I have never heard anyone around this area ever mention "hog peanut". It looks like a native to much of the SE US, so I will try to keep some growing around the edges of the forest. The flowers are really interesting, with the outer backwards-curling petals. Thanks again!
     

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