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Arachis pintoi - Krapov. & W.C.Greg.

Common Name Pinto peanut
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 8-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Low forest with a fairly dense canopy[310 ]
Range S. America - eastern and central Brazil.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Wet Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun
Arachis pintoi Pinto peanut

Harry Rose, Australia
Arachis pintoi Pinto peanut
Harry Rose, Australia


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This wild perennial relative of the groundnut or peanut, has been of increasing importance to pasture improvement in the tropics.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Arachis pintoi is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The flowers are pollinated by Insects.
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


None Known

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

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.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Fodder  Green manure  Soil conditioner

Agroforestry Uses: Because of its high degree of shade tolerance, pinto peanut is finding application as a pasture legume in tree plantations, but also as a ground cover in plantations from which grazing animals must be excluded[310 ]. Pinto peanut is mostly used as a permanent pasture in intensive grazing systems and in very shaded situations under plantation crops. It can be used as a ground cover or as an ornament (Cook et al., 2005). Arachis pintoi is tolerant to heavy grazing and is compatible with aggressive grasses such as Brachiaria (Hess et al., 2003). It is potentially capable of producing high yields of forage in the tropics and improving soils and degraded pastures (Cab Jimenez et al., 2008). Useful for pasture, ground cover and as an ornament. Pinto peanut is a valuable forage, easy to establish, persistent, and combines well in mixtures under a wide range of climate and soil conditions, including heavy grazing. Pinto peanut is a good ground cover crop that can completely cover the soil in less than 6 month. Pinto peanut is used as a live mulch for soil conservation and weed suppression, particularly in shaded situations such as under trees and vines. Once established, pinto peanut may outcompete weeds and is thus useful for weed control. In its early stages, it may be useful to control weeds to ease its development (Abdul-Baki et al., 2002).

Special Uses

Carbon Farming  Food Forest  Ground Cover  Nitrogen Fixer

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Agroforestry Services: Nitrogen  Agroforestry Services: Understory legume  Fodder: Pasture  Management: Fodder  Management: Hay  Minor Global Crop

A plant of the moist tropics, also succeeding in humid subtropical areas. It is found at elevations up to 1,400 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 22 - 28c, but can tolerate 12 - 30c[418 ]. Top growth is killed by frost, but plants can regrow from the taproot if the frost was only light[415 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,500 - 2,000mm, but tolerates 900 - 3,000mm, and can tolerate a dry period of up to 4 months[375 , 418 ]. The plant grows best in light shade, but is also tolerant of full sun and heavy shade[310 ]. It grows well in most soil types, preferring a fertile soil but succeeding in soils of low fertility[418 ]. It cannot reproduce in heavy clay soils, or in any soils that form a hard cap after rain, because the developing seedpod is unable to penetrate the soil and dies[415 ]. It can tolerate low levels of salt in the soil[418 ]. It prefers a well-drained soil, but can tolerate some water logging[418 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.4 - 6, tolerating 4.5 - 7.5[418 ]. There are no reports about this species becoming a weed. However, once established it is very difficult to eradicate, spreading by stolons for up to 2 metres a year in the wet tropics and about 1 metres a year in the subtropics. Since the seed develops underground any natural dissemination can only be by water erosion. The seeds are soft and digestible and are not spread through animals[415 ]. Seedlings develop quickly following germination, and with good growing conditions and several plants per square metre, a complete ground cover can be achieved by a network of stolons in less than six months[310 ]. Flowering commences three to four weeks after emergence and continues through the growing season, appearing to intensify following rain or irrigation[310 ]. The develping seedpod is borne on a gynophore or peg, which elongates to up to 27cm after pollination and pushes the seedpod up to 7cm deep into the soil[310 ]. Plants are rarely subjected to fire in their native habitat. However, high levels of seed in the soil, plus the capacity to re-establish new crowns at depth if the surface crown is destroyed, ensure a good recovery after fire[415 ]. 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[755 ].

Carbon Farming

  • Agroforestry Services: Nitrogen  Plants that contribute to nitrogen fixation include the legume family – Fabaceae.
  • Agroforestry Services: Understory legume  Legume vegetation, especially the trees and shrubs growing between the forest canopy and the forest floor.
  • Fodder: Pasture  Enclosed tracts of farmland mainly of grasses, with an interspersion of legumes and other forbs (non-grass herbaceous plants).
  • Management: Fodder  Non-destructive management systems maintaining the soil organic carbon.
  • Management: Hay  Cut to the ground and harvested annually. Non-destructive management systems maintaining the soil organic carbon.
  • Minor Global Crop  These crops are already grown or traded around the world, but on a smaller scale than the global perennial staple and industrial crops, The annual value of a minor global crop is under $1 billion US. Examples include shea, carob, Brazil nuts and fibers such as ramie and sisal.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - when fresh it has a high level of dormancy, which may be reduced by drying the seed at 35 - 40°c for 10 days. When growing the plant in new areas, the seed should be inoculated with a specific strain of Bradyrhizobium, which is different from that used on commercial groundnuts. Sow the seed in situ - a well-prepared seed-bed is desirable but not essential. The seed should be sown 2 - 6cm deep at a rate of 10 - 15 kilos of seed per hectare, followed by rolling[310 ]. The seed remains viable in the ground for more than one season[310 ]. If seed is not available, pinto peanut is readily propagated from cuttings.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Pinto peanut (English); arachide de Pinto (French); maní forrajero perenne, maní perenne (Spanish); amendoim forrageiro (Portuguese); kacang pinto (Indonesian);

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Arachis glabrataPerennial peanutPerennial0.3 8-11 FLMHSNM103
Arachis hypogaeaPeanutAnnual0.3 7-10  LMHNM424

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment


Krapov. & W.C.Greg.

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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