Tag Archives: hopniss

Apios, the riverbank dangler

29 Jun

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I’ve shown photos of the flowers of Apios americana from my backyard many times on the blog though the tubers rarely have been given a chance to shine so with the floods waters gone and the riverbank visible here we see the easiest way to locate where groundnuts usually grow in good numbers though they rarely flower or have much leaf growth.

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Often there will be many strung together on a line.

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More a few feet a way.

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Apios americana is known to grow larger tubers where it can mingle amongst other roots in moist soil. I find it both flowers and tubers well with daylilies. A photo of flowers in August and today a fresh tuber the size of a medium potato. Groundnut was a popular food for thousands of years in Eastern North American, there are many online sites which can tell you about its history, nutrition value and other interesting stuff. One thing I find interesting is it is a food you can gather anytime the ground isn’t frozen or you may even gather them then if the riverbank still has some danglers.

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Here is what I may gather soon unless I stumble upon something else that draws my attention. Here we see elderberry very close to flowering and also wild radish pods, these little ones here tasted quite good. ciao

Apios americana flowers

15 Aug

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In my (wild edible plants) page I ‘m adding a few  Apios Americana flower photos as these flowers are rather pleasant to the eye as well as being one of our better wild tuber plants.

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This was an important staple food in some parts of North America long ago.

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Easy to notice this plant when the flowers are on these vines though in the fall I usually become aware of their presence by seeing groundnut tubers dangling from washed out river banks, this far north I have never noticed seed pods developing on this plant.

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Here if you click on the photo you will see the Apios americana vines climbing over these spent Daylily flower stocks with a bed of Jerusalem Artichoke in the background, so we have 3 good tuber plants together in this one. ciao

The hopniss places

1 Aug

The blossoms are still not fully expanded but you get the picture and naturally this is the last day of  daylily flowers in our yard, starting July 1st and ending August 1st, so here are some hopniss blossoms which I introduced to the garden from the St John River which have danced over the daylily stalks  and some blue sky for your enjoyment to ring in the new month.

Some more blossoms and some communities which take their names from this plant Apios americana,—– Shubenacadie and the Shubenacadie river, NS Canada (Mi’kmaq)—–Sag Harbor and Sagaponack NY, USA   (Algonquin)—– Penecook River NH, USA.   I would be surprised if there are not many other areas throughout central and eastern N.A. having places named for this plant which provided a very edible tuber for folks for over 10,000 years in Canada and thousands more years as you head south. I recall finding this plant for the first time along a river in my home county where it wasn’t known to grow and being amazed at the sight of these large richly  colored and finely shaped blossoms. I definitely sat in their company for a while that day.

Click on to get a closer look at the softer colors on the top side of the blossoms.  As you can see they mingled quite naturally here to, only a handful of folks have seen or heard of this plant in this city, but I suspect we may get a street named after them before I leave these parts. ciao

Hopniss days are here again

27 Jul

Yes the daylily flowering is coming to a close in our yard, but Hopniss still fills the air. Groundnut, Hopniss, (Apios americana) was a valuable food for many humans in the central & eastern half of North America for thousands of years when the N.A. population numbered in the 10s of millions. This plants little tubers still are pretty tasty in my opinion and I find its timing to climb and blossom over these daylilies couldn’t be better. If you click on the photo you will notice the blossoms just starting to expand and I’ll show them again in a week or so, as they are quite interesting to see up close and though you can not smell them, they are uniquely sweet though one neighbor refers to their scent as horsey .

Click on and notice the vines are in the process of turning from green to red and the leaves are pointing straight up. I collected a few tubers from the St John river floodplain a few years ago and they have grown best amongst the daylilies here in the yard, they survive but struggle in the Jerusalem artichoke patch. I’ve read somewhere that they will even grow in boggy areas and grow quite large tubers under elderberries, though in my area I’ve only found wild tubers dangling from the washed out bank of a St John river and a few rivers in Nova Scotia in tall grasses and amongst plants near Elm trees. I’m quite close to the northern limits of this plant in its eastern range. Plants for a future (PFAF) plant database — has listed Apios americana as one of its top ranked wild plants in the world especially for taste.  Check out (PFAF top 20) and www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Apios%20americana     

This guy has been hanging around these sunchoke leaves for a few hours now, seems to be a friendly little cuss though. ciao

Happy Canada Day

1 Jul

This Daylily flower blossomed just in time for the Canada Day celebration and will wither out to tonight  like the evening fireworks festivities and should become the first member of my dried golden needles collection for 2012 to be enjoyed in soups this winter.

As you can see there are many buds preparing for their day of glory to come soon. Daylilies are native to Eurasia and the fresh buds are also edible though I recommend you check out Green Deane (Eat the weeds) website before you try any of the edible parts of our North American daylilies for the first time.

Here is a daylily flower stalk with an interesting guest climbing it, you will need to click on twice to have a good look at this plants twining nature, this  is a native plant that many folks in North America have been gratefully eating this member of the pea family’s potato like tubers for at least 15,000 years, so that means about 15,000 years before there was a country called Canada or even a word day that meant day. To commemorate this historic sustainer here at my house once this plants lovely flowers bloom, I will then celebrate Apios americana Day, also known as groundnut and hopniss. Lots of reasons to celebrate right here, where ever you are. Have a great Daylily with lots of hopniss. ciao

Cool local produce

25 Feb

Initially my thought was to collect some Jerusalem artichokes and also to bring a few hopniss tubers inside to grow as house plants.

This area is a section in our yard I devote to some of my favorite wild plants and also a few hardy self-sufficient others which inter-be in this location. Below is a summer view of this area.

Since the ground was still frozen on the snow-covered areas, I decided to check out some of the plants located near the edge of the surrounding buildings.

Here is the biennial, evening primrose.

Some sweet cicely under icy water.

Lastly near the foundation of the house some Jerusalem artichokes were obtained for supper.

You can click on the photos to get a closer look, also in coming months I will revisit this wild garden area to share and possibly introduce many of the plants which were not visible in the summer photo above, this will include mints, woundwort, hopniss, caraway, sweet cicely, orpine, chives, stinging nettle, yellow goatsbeard, sea rocket, orache, seaside plantain, mustards, smartweeds, sorrels and surprisingly quite a few more.

If your a wild food gatherer, a little indicator garden like this one can be helpful in choosing where and when to plan some of your wildcrafting excursions, especially if you are travelling some distance to your collecting grounds, this one has been most helpful to me, I can assure you. cheers for here