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Peanut is a much-loved ground nut and an American icon, but we can't remember much about its early history. In fact, there is no known authentic mention of peanut before 1753. In Europe, peanut was referred to as ground almond. In England, ground almond was used as a filler for cakes and cookies, later called “Almond fudge”. In the United States, the first known recipe that included peanut was published in 1753.
Peanut plants continue to produce flowers when pods are developing; therefore even when they are ready for harvest, some pods are immature. In order to maximize yield, the timing of harvest is important. If it is too early, too many pods will be unripe; if too late, the pods will snap off at the stalk, and will remain in the soil. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)
The main yield limiting factors in semiarid regions are drought and high temperature stress. The stages of reproductive development prior to flowering, at flowering and at early pod development, are particularly sensitive to these constraints. Apart from N, P and K, other nutrient deficiencies causing significant yield losses are Ca, Fe and B. Biotic stresses mainly include pests, diseases and weeds. Among insects pests pod borers, aphids and mites are of importance. The most important diseases are leaf spots, rusts and the toxin-producing fungus Aspergillus. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)
The peanut is an annual and can either be an erect shrubby plant, 45–60 cm (18–24 inches) high with short branches, or have a spreading form, 30–45 cm (12–18 inches) high with long branches that lie close to the soil. The stems are sturdy and hairy and bear pinnately compound leaves with two pairs of leaflets. The flowers are borne in the axils of the leaves and feature golden-yellow petals about 10 mm (0.4 inch) across. The oblong pods have rounded ends and are most commonly 25–50 mm (1–2 inches) long with two or three seeds; the pods are contracted between the seeds and have a thin, netted, spongy shell. The seeds vary from oblong to nearly round and have a papery seed coat that ranges in colour from whitish to dark purple. (Source: www.britannica.com)
From planting to harvesting, the growing cycle of a peanut takes 4 to 5 months, depending on the type and variety. (Source: www.flpeanuts.com)
This budding ovary is called a “peg.” The peg enlarges and grows down and away from the plant forming a small stem which extends to the soil. The peanut embryo is in the tip of the peg, which penetrates the soil. The embryo turns horizontal to the soil surface and begins to mature taking the form of a peanut. The plant continues to grow and flower, eventually producing some 40 or more pods. From planting to harvesting, the growing cycle of a peanut takes 4 to 5 months, depending on the type and variety. (Source: www.flpeanuts.com)