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Tropical Zone Gardening: decorative leguminous groundcover (perennial)

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Forum: Tropical Zone GardeningReplies: 5, Views: 71
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July 29, 2010
3:37 PM

Post #8005156

i live in Vanuatu (S pacific) and am searching for a decorative leguminous groundcover (ie not for a green manure). Last saw one in Peru in jungle camp, which grew well, didn't need cutting and didn't hold water, ergo no mosquitoes. It had a small yellow flower - no-one seemed to know where it came from, and it is exactly what we need, please!
Love, Ruth


Keaau, HI

July 29, 2010
4:34 PM

Post #8005227

Hi Ruth,

The plant is Arachis pintoi. It is commonly used in Hawai'i as a drought resistant mat forming ground-cover.

Here is a link:

Aloha, Dave
Lee's Summit, MO
(Zone 6a)

July 29, 2010
6:09 PM

Post #8005420

We use a lot of perennial peanut plants (legume with small yellow flowers) in our area for ground cover. I buy the plants, so don't know about the ease of finding seeds - mine never produce any seeds.


Keaau, HI

July 29, 2010
9:44 PM

Post #8005881

A good way to get the plant started is to take cuttings of several runners from plants established in your area.
They root easily. Once you have them established, you can make many more cuttings and soon you will be able to cover significant areas.
Hillsborough , NC
(Zone 7a)

July 30, 2010
8:04 AM

Post #8006430

I have some Arachis pintoi growing in the garden, mine has never produced seeds heads either.
Vieques, PR

July 31, 2010
6:41 AM

Post #8008322

I didn't see the double-post, agree with all above, and added quite superfluously:

You may be referring to arachis pintoi, locally known as mani (pronounced "mahNEE"). This plant has been a wonderful ground cover here for me--almost "too good", it spreads so lushly. We have a semi-arid climate here, and on hots days during the dry season, the mani lies down and looks faded, even crispy at times, but with a little rain or irrigation, it pops right back and is flowering again in a few days. It doesn't mind being weed-whacked back severely --the edges look a bit stubbly, but only for a day or so.

This pic was taken only a few months after I planted small, bare-rooted plants on 6-inch centers and kept it irrigated. I'm told it enriches the soil with nitrogen very well. I hear that it can be easily "round-Up'd" or "Weed-b-gon'd", leaving richer soil in its demise.

I love the stuff, tho it takes some tending once it's going, particularly where you might use it along walkways, or stepping stone paths.

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