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Apios fortunei - Maxim.                
                 
Common Name
Family Fabaceae or Leguminosae
Synonyms
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Woods and thickets, 600 - 1000 metres in W. China[109].
Range E. Asia - China, Japan.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 
Apios fortunei is a PERENNIAL. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It can fix Nitrogen.


USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon


Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Apios fortunei


Apios fortunei
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Root.
Edible Uses:

Tuber - raw or cooked[105, 177]. It has a delicious flavour somewhat like sweet potatoes when roasted[179]. The tuber can also be dried and ground into a powder. The tuber contains about 4.2% protein, 0.2% fat, 18.3% starch, 6% other carbohydrate, 1.3% ash[179].
Composition                                         
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Root (Fresh weight)
  • 0 Calories per 100g
  • Water : 0%
  • Protein: 4.2g; Fat: 0.2g; Carbohydrate: 24.3g; Fibre: 0g; Ash: 1.3g;
  • Minerals - Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
  • Vitamins - A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;
  • Reference: [ ]
  • Notes:
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Tonic.

The root is tonic[218].
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details                                         
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a light rich soil and a sunny position[1, 27]. Another report says that it prefers light dappled shade[200]. Tolerates acid soils[160]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - pre-soak for 3 hours in tepid water and sow February/March in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 15°c[134]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting them out in late spring or early summer. Division can be carried out at almost any time of the year, though spring is probably the best time. Simply dig up the roots, harvest the tubers and replant them where you want the plants to grow. It is also possible to harvest the tuber in winter, store them in a cool fairly dry but frost-free place over the winter and then plant them out in the spring. The tubers lose moisture rapidly once they have been harvested, so make sure that you store them in a damp medium such as leafmold.
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
Maxim.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
109
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[27]Vilmorin. A. The Vegetable Garden.
A reprint of a nineteenth century classic, giving details of vegetable varieties. Not really that informative though.
[105]Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World.
The most comprehensive guide to edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
[109]Wilson. E. H. Plantae Wilsonae.
Details of the palnts collected by the plant collector E. H. Wilson on his travels in China. Gives some habitats. Not for the casual reader.
[134]Rice. G. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 2.
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. An interesting article on Ensete ventricosum.
[160]Natural Food Institute, Wonder Crops. 1987.
Fascinating reading, this is an annual publication. Some reports do seem somewhat exaggerated though.
[177]Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption.
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
[179]Reid. B. E. Famine Foods of the Chiu-Huang Pen-ts'ao.
A translation of an ancient Chinese book on edible wild foods. Fascinating.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[218]Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
Peter Haase Mon Nov 16 2009
Wanted: Viable seeds of Apios fortunei, Apios americana, Apio priceana for research purposes. Who can help me? Peter Haase
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