What do peanut plants look like, is a matter of interest in this inquiry. The peanut plant is a yellow-flowered legume that grows two feet above the ground. It has four leaves on the stalk with an elliptical shape.

What Do Peanut Plants Look Like

The plant bears yellow or orange flowers above the ground and fruits underground. Read more to learn about the identification features of peanuts and their variations.

What Do a Peanut Plant Look Like Growing?

Peanut plants when growing would have oval leaves shooting from their stems, and on top of these they would have small and yellow flowers. Additionally, their stems would be thin, long, and green, and below they will start to establish long roots, that attack to shell fruits with smooth seeds.

You can identify a peanut plant by looking at the leaves, flowers, stems, roots, and fruits. Peanuts have green oval leaves, produce yellow flowers, and grow their fruits underground. You must also be able to identify the plant when it is young.

Peanut seedlings take about ten days to germinate. A shoot with a stem and lateral branches emerges from the soil. The small stem has four immature leaves, with two twigs having two leaves each. The stem grows other branches with more mature leaves.

– Oval Leaves

Peanut leaves grow directly from the stem at the nodes. The leaves have four other leaflets, making them a tetrafoliate. They are green, narrow, fan-shaped with an oval shape and arranged in alternating pairs.

Oval Leaves

The stomata are on top and beneath the leaves, meaning they have a high rate of water loss. However, the top is glossy to reduce water loss from the plant through transpiration and to help with photosynthesis. The leaves are attached to the stem through a petiole which can be four inches.

Peanut growers determine the time to harvest peanuts by checking the changes in the leaves. However, they would change their colors and start turning yellow and begin to wither. With time, the leaves could fall off, indicating that your nuts are ready for harvesting. However, the changes can be different for different peanut variations, meaning from one plant to the other, it would differ.

– Small and Yellow Flowers

Peanut flowers appear 40 days after planting the seedlings, which is considered a great period of time. They are small, with yellow, orange, cream, or white petioles depending on your peanut variety. The flowers bloom above the ground on short stalks that attach to the axils of the leaves.

In addition, remember that they have five petals, a central pistil, and do self-fertilization. However, other insects and bees also help with peanut flower fertilization. These blooms are edible, and gardeners use them in salads. But don’t pick many of them, because if you detach them, then they will hinder your groundnut harvest, because the plant may weaken in shooting new leaves.

After fertilization, the petals fall off on their own, and this would be allowing the ovary to form. The budding ovary grows down into the soil, where it matures while taking the form of peanuts, and these fruit will be growing in the pods and continue to develop.

– Long and Green Stem

The peanut plant has a sturdy stem that supports the entire plant above the ground. The stem is green, with fine, downy hairs to protect it from insects and animals. It grows upright above the ground to support pinnately compound leaves and flowers.

When young, peanut stems are angular and solid with a large pitch. They become hollow and more cylindrical with age, and the downy hairs reduce. You can tell the type of peanuts in your farm with the thickness of the stem, and to which variety it belongs to. They also have short and condensed internodes, which lengthen as the height increases.

The peanut is a shrubby plant that grows 18-24 inches tall. It has short branches with clustered leaves, making it bushy. Some plants spread 12-18 inches high and grow longer branches. However, the twigs are mainly close to the soil.

– Long Roots

Peanut is a leguminous plant that grows a tap root that can be as long as five feet into the soil, and when the roots establish, they would start to get thicker and spindle-shaped. It produces other small lateral roots for absorbing water and minerals from the ground into the tree.

The taproot has nodules, like other leguminous plants, and the nodules have nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which enriches the soil and ensures good yield. Farmers should leave peanut roots underground when harvesting to release the nitrogen once they decay. 

Peanuts grow under the ground, as some people wonder if these this plant grows on trees, but no, during harvesting, the digger makes rows in the peanut farm with horizontal blades. This loosens the plant. The farmer uses a shaker to remove soil from the pods when harvesting.

– Shell Fruit

The peanut fruit is called groundnut because it grows underground. It forms after fertilization and when the flowers wither. The fruit grows in a short pod containing one to four seeds.

Shell Fruit

The pods are about two inches and are rounded at the ends. They have a thin, netted shell, and are slightly contracted at the center, in addition to this, they would grow underground after fertilization.

Peanut trees are annual plants, meaning they grow once. Therefore, you must plant other seedlings after harvesting because the plant does not sprout after a season, which means that these shell fruit would grow on a yearly basis.

– Smooth Seeds

Peanut seeds are the edible part of the plant and have orange papery skin that turns deep red when they ripen. However, they differ in size, shape, and color of the coat, depending on the peanut variety.

These seeds have a thick and slightly sticky internal pulp with a sweet flavor and smell like peanut butter, even when raw. Each seed has two cotyledons and a straight embryo. They are rich in proteins, fat, vitamins, and other minerals. They also have antioxidants and fatty acids.

The best time to harvest peanuts is during late summer or early fall. During this time, they are ripe, and the soil is dry, note that this is important because nuts get mold and aflatoxins if stored when wet, which leads to diseases and wastage.

When harvesting, you can pull a few plants from various locations to check the state of the soil and see if the seeds are mature enough. Wash the seed shells after harvesting, but leave them in the sun to dry before storing them.

Many farmers wonder how many peanuts per plant they can get. Most of these plants produce 25-50 peanuts underground. Therefore, ensure you space your crops well for perfect spreading to ensure good yields. Also, note that the number of peanuts per plant depends on the variety of peanuts you have.

What Are Different Peanut Plant Varieties?

Peanuts varieties are runner, Virginia, Spanish, and Valencia. Each peanut type has a distinctive size, color, taste, and nutritional composition. Also, note that these varieties have various growth requirements like water, humidity, temperature, and soil composition. You can tell the different peanut types from their characteristics.

– Runner

Runners are the most common types of peanuts and are commercially grown to produce peanut butter. The seeds have an attractive uniform size and shape and give high yields. They grow showing green and tall stems and beautiful leaves. As they would be producing a vast number of their little shells that would grow and yeiled the fruit from the roots.

Runner Peanuts

They are common in Georgia, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, and Alabama. The standard varieties of runners are Sun runner, Gorgiarunner, flavor Runner 458, and Southern Runner. The Florunner is a common peanut because it gives high yields than the other varieties. They also have a great taste and are ideal for roasting.

– Virginia

Also called cocktail nuts, Virginia peanuts are another popular type. They have a vast peanut pod meaning their yields are high. The huge pod makes Virginia peanuts suitable for processing, and you can do in-shell roasting, and this is their special way of growing their seeds.

These peanuts are primarily available for snacking and are also used to make butter jars. They grow mainly in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Virginia is the plant that has a long growing season, and they can take up to 150 days to be ready. Virginia peanut types are Perry, Bailey, Titan, Champs, Wynne, Gregory, and Phillips.

– Valencia

Valencia peanuts are a great choice if you are looking for a short growing season. Given the right growth conditions, these trees grow in three to four months, producing high yields of three to four kernels in a shell.

Valencia peanuts require consistent sunlight and high temperatures, so they mostly do well in the sub-tropical. The seeds are covered in a bright-red papery skin and are sweet when roasted. These peanuts are standard in New Mexico. The most common Valencia peanut type is Tennessee Reds.

– Spanish

Spanish peanuts are common in South America, but their primary origin is Brazil. They have a smaller kennel with brownish-red skinned seeds. Farmers grow them for their high oil content. Therefore, manufacturers extract oil from the seeds.

Spanish Peanuts

These peanuts are also used as peanut candies and peanut snacks. They can be salted and roasted in their shells. The plant takes three to four months to grow and mature and gives a high yield. Spanish peanuts are available in Pronto, Spanco, Olin, and Georgia-045 varieties.

What Other Plants Look Like Peanut Plant?

Sickled pod weeds look like peanuts because of their structure. However, these have broader and light green leaves than those of peanuts. The sickle pod is a notorious weed that disturbs many peanut growers because it is resistant to herbicides.

Even worse, these weeds are perennial because they regrow in the soil for about five years. They are also self-pollinating and produce many seeds per plant. Therefore, getting rid of them can be tricky.

The American Hog-peanut bears underground peanut-like fruits eaten mainly by wild pigs. It is common in North America and Florida. Although the seeds resemble those of peanuts, you can quickly identify American Hog because it is a twinning plant. It also has trifoliate leaves attached to the stem and a tap root where the “groundnuts” attach.


1. Do Peanuts Grow on Trees?

Peanut seeds do not grow on trees. After fertilization, the flowers wither, and the runners droop. They grow a long stalk called the peg, which extends to the ground and into the soil. The peg swells into a pod and bears two to four seeds that become peanuts. However, peanut flowers grow on trees.

2. Where Do Peanuts Grow Naturally?

Peanuts grow naturally in tropical and subtropical areas. The plant is native to the Western Hemisphere, with its primary origin being South America. They are also common in areas with sandy loam soil of PH 5.9-7.

However, it is easy to grow peanuts. The plants require high humidity and high heat to get the best produce. You can plant them in direct sunlight, but ensure the soil is moist. Also, these plants are prone to root rot, so you must avoid standing water.

You will also find peanuts in warm climates like Asia, Africa, and Australia. India growers plant peanut plants for sale. They consider it the king of oil seeds, significant cash, and food crop.


Peanuts are legume crops common for their sweet seeds. The plant has tetra foliates that grow directly from the stem and produce white, yellow, or orange flowers, depending on the variety. It has tap roots, and the fruit grows underground, matures and bears the seeds.

From this article, you will find that:

  • Peanut flowers grow above the soil, but the fruit grows underground after fertilization.
  • Peanuts are available in four varieties, and Runners are the most common. Spanish peanuts have high oil content making them common cash crops.
  •  Peanuts are illegal in some states when grown as cash crops, but you can grow them in your garden.
  • The plant takes about 160 days to mature fully, but some varieties take a shorter time to grow.

If you are unsure if the plants in your garden are peanuts, refer to the characteristics in this list.




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