An Illustrated Guide to ARIZONA WEEDS

The University of Arizona Press

HOG POTATO, pignut


PEA FAMILY-Leguminosae

HOG POTATO-Hoffmanseggia densiflora Benth.

DESCRIPTION-A low weak slender stemmed perennial l/2 to 1 foot high, which reproduces from seeds, from creeping underground horizontal roots, and from deep seated nutlike tuberous enlargements of the roots. The twice divided leaves are alternate, 2 to 5 inches long including the stalks, and are covered with glandular dots and fine incurved hairs. They are divided into 3 to 5 pairs of primary leaflets (or divisions), each of which is further divided into 5 to 10 pairs of oblong secondary leaflets only 1/8 to 1/4 inch long.

The flowers have 5 yellow or orange red petals about l/2 inch long, each narrowed into a stalk covered with small glands. The flowers occur along the upper part of the stems, the flowering part only about 2 to 6 inches long and covered with small sticky tackshaped reddish glands. The flattened, slightly curved pods, 2/3 to 1 2/3 inches long, are dark reddish brown, and have few to several seeds. The grayish seeds are smooth, flattened eggshaped, and slightly more than 1/8 inch long.

DISTRIBUTION-Hog potato is a very common native weed, often forming large colonies in heavy alkaline soil along roadsides, ditch banks, and waste places, becoming a troublesome pest when it spreads to adjacent cultivated lands and pastures. It is common throughout most of the state, especially in irrigated areas at the lower elevations, 100 to 5,000 feet elevation; flowering April to October.

The tubers are 1 1/2 feet deep or more, and relished by hogs; the Indians considered them quite a delicacy after they were roasted. However, the tubers and the roots together enable this plant to become quickly established, and it should be eradicated from cultivated fields and gardens when it first appears.

Copyright (c) 1972 The Arizona Board of Regents

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