THE UNUSUALNESS OF PEANUT
peanut is unusual because it flowers above the ground, but fruits below the ground.
Typical misconceptions of how peanuts grow place them on trees (like walnuts or pecans) or
growing as a part of a root, like potatoes.
planting to harvesting, the growing cycle takes about four to five months, depending on
the type or variety. The peanut is a nitrogen-fixing plant; its roots form modules which
absorb nitrogen from the air and provides enrichment and nutrition to the plant and soils.
Where Peanuts Grow
Peanuts are grown in the
warm climates of Asia, Africa, Australia, and North and South America. India and China
together account for more than half of the world's production. The United States has about
3% of the world acreage of peanuts, but grows nearly 10% of the world's crop because of
higher yields per acre. Other major peanut growing countries include Senegal, Sudan,
Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Malawi, and Nigeria.
When Peanuts originated
indicates that peanut
originated around for 3500 years in the place now-called
Brazil or Peru. The
first major use for peanuts
was as food for pigs. The
first commercial growth of peanuts
is generally attributed to the Poplar Grove Plantation at Scotts Hill located north of
Wilmington, North Carolina. The
first notable use of peanuts
as food for humans came during the Civil War, when both Northern and Southern troops used
the peanut as a food source during hard times.
George Washington Carver
is considered by many as the
father of the commercial
In 1903 he began research at the Tuskeegee Institute, which eventually yielded over 300
uses for the peanut including cheese, mayonnaise, chili sauce, shampoo, bleach, axle
grease, linoleum and ice cream. He suggested to the farmers that they rotate their cotton
plants and cultivate peanuts.