Glycine priceana (B.L.Rob.) Britton & Rose
Apios priceana is a herbaceous, perennial, climbing plant with slender stems 3 metres or more long. The stems scramble over the ground, twining into the surrounding vegetation for support.
The plant produces a large, edible tuber and has the potential for cultivation as a food crop.
Southern and central N. America - Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.
Rocky woods and thickets[
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[
]. Another report says that it prefers light dappled shade[
]. Tolerates acid soils[
A climbing plant, supporting itself by twining around the thin branches of shrubs[
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[
Tuber - raw or cooked[
]. It has a delicious flavour somewhat like sweet potatoes when roasted. The tuber can also be dried and ground into a powder. The tuber is solitary, unlike other members of this genus that produce strings of tubers[
]. The tuber can be 15cm thick and somewhat longer[
Seed - pre-soak for 3 hours in tepid water and sow late winter/early spring in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 15°c[
]. 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.