Tag Archives: wild tubers

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