Pinto Peanut

Pinto Peanut


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Common Name:  Pinto Peanut, Amarillo Peanut.

Latin Name:  Arachis pintoi.

Origin:  Brazil.

Description (what it looks like):  Not edible.  Pinto Peanut is a low growing, creeping, perennial legume that forms a thick mat 20-30cm deep.  It is strongly tap-rooted and has many secondary nodulated roots.  The leaves are emerald green and the flowers are bright yellow, resembling small orchids.  Once pollinated, the flower stalks elongate and grow down into the soil, penetrating up to a depth of about 7cm.  The fruit is a one-seeded pod underground, 1-1.5cm long and 6-8mm in diameter.  It is found in the upper 10 cm of the soil.

Uses:  Makes an ideal living mulch for orchards.  Does not compete with tree crops for moisture.  Protects the soil surface from erosion and improves soil structure.  It easily outcompetes weeds and requires no maintenance.  Delivers a significant supply of nitrogen, calcium and phosphorus, but also uniquely potassium. Penetrates and breaks up the ground with its taproots.  Has been some suggestion to could decrease nematode infestation.  Landscapers beginning to use it as a grass substitute for local councils.  A nutritious legume for animal pastures.  Tends to be invasive, so research first before planting.  Segregate.

Nutritional value:  Not edible for humans.

Growing details (propagation, seed etc):  Plant from seed or cuttings.  Cuttings of 15-20 cm long can be buried 2-3 cm in soil.  Space 35 cm apart.

Best time to grow:  Plant out in the wet season.

Soil:  Moist, well-drained, moderately fertile soils, with a neutral pH (6.6-7.3).

Sun:  Full sun to heavy shade.

Water:  Ideally suited to high rain, frost-free areas.  Sensitive to waterlogging but can withstand some periods of flooding, and can survive dry spells of up to 4 months duration.

How to eat it:  Not edible for humans.  Delicious for livestock, including guineafowl.

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