Perennial Peanut

Fact sheet: Perennial Peanut

 

Common name: Perennial peanut

Scientific name: Arachis glabrata, Benth

Origin: Tropical South America

The perennial peanut evolved in tropical conditions and is adapted to subtropical and warm temperate climates. In the northern hemisphere, this would include locations below 32o north latitude (Florida-Georgia state line) having a long, warm growing season.

Perennial peanut was first introduced from Brazil in 1936 and since that time no insect, disease, or nematode pests have been identified that cause economic loss. Since its introduction, it has not spread into natural areas or become a nuisance plant in unimproved properties. Rhizomal perennial peanut does not reproduce by seed; therefore, it can’t be carried by birds or wildlife or transported in plant material to unintended areas.

Perennial peanut has recently shown promise as an ornamental groundcover due to its high resistance to drought, nematodes, and pathogens and its minimal fertilizer needs. This translates into savings in water, energy, dollars, and reduced impacts to the environment. It is not only beneficial to the environment since it requires no supplemental nitrogen or phosphorus fertilization or pest control, but it also is aesthetically pleasing, can be walked on, and has edible, peanut flavored flowers.

Due to rapid urbanization, water has become a precious commodity in Florida. Water management districts are encouraging the implementation of year-round water restrictions and the use of drought tolerant plants, of which perennial peanut is a good candidate. Perennial peanut has potential landscape uses as a groundcover in home landscapes, road medians, driveways and parking lot islands, golf courses, along berms, septic tank mounds, and canal banks. Perennial peanut can also be used as a buffer to waterways prone to runoff high in N (Nitrogen) and P (Phosphorus).

Fact sheet: Perennial Peanut

Planted in Nassau County Extension Demonstration Garden

Sold at Nassau County Master Gardener Plant Sale