En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - March 01, 2011

From: Bremen, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Vines
Title: Vine with edible nut in Chattooga County, Georgia
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

From an email to this Master Gardener- The lady said when she was young her grandmother had a vine that grew along ground that produced small edible nut. As kids they called them chew-chews. Any idea what it could have been. Maybe something in the pea family. This was in Chattooga County area.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants wasn't able to find any native Georgia vine called chew-chews (or even choo-choos).  One of our Mr. Smarty Plants (a staff botanist) grew up in Georgia, and he hasn't ever heard of these either.

I searched for native vines that occur in Georgia by going to our Native Plant Database and doing a COMBINATION SEARCH choosing 'Georgia' from Select State or Province and 'Vine' from Habit (general appearance).  This search gives a list of 81 vines native to Georgia.  Looking through these I found two that showed at least some possibilities for being the chew-chews.

The most likely one is Amphicarpaea bracteata (American hogpeanut).  Here is more information from Plants for a Future (which rates the seeds as edible and delicious raw) and Apios Institute.

Another possibility is Apios americana (Groundnut)The tubers, which are walnut-sized, can be eaten raw or cooked.  The seeds are generally cooked. Here is more information from University of Massachusetts Amherst and Plants for a Future.

We at Mr. Smarty Plants would be very interested if the lady who asked you the question recognizes either of these as the plant she remembers as chew-chews.

Here are photos from our Image gallery and the sites above also have photos:

 

From the Image Gallery


American hogpeanut
Amphicarpaea bracteata

Groundnut
Apios americana

Groundnut
Apios americana

More Vines Questions

Culture of a potato vine
November 11, 2007 - This spring I was given a potato to grow. The lady called it a potato vine. Do you know anything about this vine?
view the full question and answer

Care for large trumpet vine in Hugo MN
June 09, 2010 - I was recently given a large Trumpet vine that has been growing in the same place for the last 25 years.I have replanted it and given it a large trellis to grow on.I live in central Minnesota. My ques...
view the full question and answer

Chlorosis in Texas Wisteria from Blanco TX
November 05, 2012 - Just noticed a Texas Wisteria I bought last month and it is already looking chlorotic. Mixed compost in w/the dirt it is planted in but I don't think that will be enough. Is Blanco soil too alkaline?...
view the full question and answer

Identity of a vine in Texas
September 02, 2009 - I am trying to identify a native vine in Runnels County, Texas. It is approximately 20 feet long, growing on a fence. The leaves are simple leaves, range in size from 1/2 " to 2" and thick (simila...
view the full question and answer

Native vines for pergola in Denton, Texas
January 28, 2009 - We ve built a pergola under our Post Oaks and Winged Elms. The soil is sandy, as you would expect with post oaks. Are there any native vines, hopefully with a pretty flower, that I might coax into g...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center