Herb: Hog Peanut

Latin name: Amphicarpaea pitcheri

Synonyms: Amphicarpaea bracteata comosa, Falcata pitcheri

Family: Leguminosae

Edible parts of Hog Peanut:

Seed - raw or cooked. Two types of seed are produced - flowers produced near the ground produce a pod that buries itself just below soil level. These pods contain a single seed are up to 15mm in diameter which can be used as a peanut substitute. They can be harvested throughout the winter and can be eaten raw or cooked. They taste like peanuts. Yields are rather low, and it can be a fiddle finding the seeds, but they do make a very pleasant and nutritious snack. Other flowers higher up the plant produce seed pods that do not bury themselves. The seeds in these pods are much smaller and are usually cooked before being eaten. They can be used in all the same ways as lentils and contain up to 25% protein. The overall crop of these seeds is rather low and they are also fiddly to harvest.

Description of the plant:


150 cm
(5 feet)

Habitat of the herb:

Rich, often calcareous or alluvial soils. Moist thickets.

Propagation of Hog Peanut:

Seed - pre-soak for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring in a semi-shaded position in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within a few weeks. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting them out in late spring or early summer. Division. We have been unable to divide this plant because it only makes a small taproot. However, many of the seeds are produced under the ground and these can be harvested like tubers and potted up to make more plants.

Cultivation of the herb:

Rich, often calcareous or alluvial soils. Moist thickets.

Medicinal use of Hog Peanut:

None known

Known hazards of Amphicarpaea pitcheri:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.