Unusual & Old Fashioned Fruit Trees


Monkey Nut (Peanut) – Arachis Hypogaea


Monkey nuts actually belong to a small genus of Herbs called Arachis, some of which are annual and some perennial.  The only member of the Arachis family that is important is the Hypogaea (Peanut) which is an annual from Brazil where it is an important source of oil and cattle fodder.

Although the Peanut plants only grow to a height of about a foot or so and spread into a very small bushy plant, they are included here because of the ease with which they can be grown from any packet of fresh non-salted peanuts. The nuts need a lot of warmth to germinate and grow, but they are great fun for kids. A minimum temperature of 74 degrees F is required for growth, but they should germinate in a centrally heated house and then they can be transferred to a warm greenhouse in the early Summer where it should be possible to get the plants to mature and flower.

Yellow flowers are followed by seedpods on the end of the stalks, which have the unusual growing habit of turning downwards so that the pods actually develop in the ground. This gives rise to the peanuts other names of the “Earth nut” or “Ground nut.”

After digging up, washing and drying the shells take on the familiar appearance that we are all familiar with.

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