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Peanut grass 0809

Page history last edited by ecop 14 years, 4 months ago

Peanut Grass: A Gardener and Environment Friendly Plant





Description and Rationale



Peanut grass is a very helpful plant in gardening. Its scientific name is Arachis Pintoy. This plant does need taking care of within the first six months of being introduced to the soil, but in the long run, it pays off. Arachis Pintoy is nitrogen fixing plant; this means that the nitrogen produced by the plant is very beneficial to the fertility of the soil and ultimately the plants on the same soil. Arachis Pintoy is a good ground cover plant because of its benefits. The plant used as a ground cover provides very good weed control and that takes some excess work away from weeding. Peanut grass can also trap water from rain which can be used as extra water as supply for the plants. One more benefit to using such a plant is that its roots hold the soil. This provides the ground with suitable erosion control. Many Filipino farmers used the “slash and burn” technique to farm. This damages the soil in the long run because the wind causes erosion in the loose soil.

Peanut Grass isn’t very widely used in gardens where poor people live. It is seen growing along the road side and in some fields but is it really being put use? Do the people in the rural areas know about the benefits of this plant? Is there a standard gardening system that doesn’t include these plants in the area? Why are these garden friendly plants not put to use?

There can be ways to use this plant to benefit farmers with their crops. The benefits of using the grass can help grow plants more efficiently. The nitrogen produced by the plants make the soil more fertile and a better environment for crops to grow in. The water trapped by this plant from rain gives an additional water supply for the plants which will save work time for watering the field. The weed control produced by the plant will protect the crops from any parasitic plants and provide the crops with nutrients. Maintenance of the garden will require less work because the plants are usually self sufficient and their benefits also benefit the whole area. How will this plant be introduced and used effectively to a region where poor people farm for a living.

The initial purpose of this project will be to research and learn more about the biological make up of Peanut grass through the consultation of professionals in agriculture and other research means thought websites and books about the benefits of using the plant. The project is meant to help the poor people in a rural region grow their crops more efficiently with the introduction and use of peanut grass to improve their livelihood and income. Another purpose for this project is to find more ways to use this plant from using it as a livestock feed or an edible medicine. The factors of this plant will be further researched about and explored and find more beneficial uses of the plant in the process.

The initial goal of the project is to use the not widely used plant of peanut grass and prove its worth and as a beneficial plant to improve the livelihood of people in anyway


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Common Names and Synonyms



Peanut Grass, known to many people, is called Arachis pintoi. The name is usually found in gardening and advertising it because it is a popular ground cover for gardens. Its beneficial uses have lessened work for gardeners, because it is easy to propagate.. In Australia, it is known as Pintoi Peanut. In Thailand, it’s called Thua Lisong Tao. Peanut grass is known as Kacang Pinto in Indonesia.






Kingdom: Plantae - Plants

Phylum: Trachebionta - Vascular Plants

Class: Magnoliopsida - Dictoyledons

Order: Fabales - Flowerng Plants

Family: Fabaceae - Pea Family

Genus: Arachis - Peanut

Species: A. pintoi - Pinto Peanut



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Morphology and Physical Description



The plant is stolon bearing (stolons are stems that can grow from under the surface). When taking root, the stems grow upwards up to 50 cm in height , depending on environmental conditions. The leaves come in fours with each leaf being around 4.5 cm by 3.5 cm. Flowers that sprout are usually yellow and 12-17 mm wide. The terminal pod on the peg can have 1 or 2 seeds in each. When the plant matures, the seed pod slowly amputates itself and eventually fall off the plant into the soil. The seed size varies depending on its origin.



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Cultivation Practices


Arachis pintoi is usually used as a ground cover for gardens because of its easy maintenance, erosion control and water conservation.. The plant is widely used in China’s red soil regions because of its ability to enhance soil fertility and water conservation. It was also used as ornamental grass. It  grows best with over 150cm of rainfall in the tropics. It can be planted all year around. When first planted, it requires careful maintenance during the first 6 months until firmly established. From there the plant won’t even need a regular annual tending. Its suitable conditions include warm temperatures, decent moisture in the soil and not much fertilization. This plant also provides excellent weed control when settled. It is usually used as a ground cover plant in different places (eg. Hawaii, South America). When firmly established, Arachis pintoi is very hard to eliminate from an area.



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A. pintoi seedlings grow well if planted by the masses. They grow quickly when planted. The stolons grow and network themselves in the soil as the plant grows. After 3-4 after growing out of the soil, flowering will occur and continue throughout growing season. After massive water intake, flowering will improve and at a faster rate.  When the plant matures, the seed pods will disconnect themselves with the plant and fall to the ground. The life cycle lasts around 30 days. In about 6 months good ground cover will be present.



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Environmental Factors



A. pintoi usually lives in soil pH ranging from 4.5-7.2. It doesn’t need many metals in the soil like copper, molybdenum, and lime nor phosphorous and zinc. A. pintoi prefers usually decent to high levels of fertility but does provide nutrients to infertile soil. It can take high levels of manganese and aluminum. It can survive in areas of 100cm of annual rainfall or less. Best growing moisture is around 150cm of annual rainfall. The best temperatures are between 22-28 degrees Celsius. In terms of light, A. pintoi possibly can reproduce better in more shady parts rather than full sunlight. Usually the plant doesn’t catch fire because of its preferred moist habitat. Even if subjected to fire, a high amount of soil and seeds can provide the stolon to grow in the soil and can recover the population after the fire. It’s companion species are creeping plants such as Brachiaria decumbensB. humidicola , Paspalum maritimum, P. notatum , Axonopus fissifolius , Digitaria eriantha , Cynodon dactylon , and C. nlemfuensis. Diseases don’t cause serious or severe damage to the plant. It is normally resistant to most groundnut diseases. Rodents that feed on the plant are a problem. Since the stolons are the means of spreading, the cover extends up to 2 meters a year depending on moisture and habitat. A. pintoi can share a symbiotic relationship with most trees because the trees provide ideal shady conditions for the plants while the plants produce necessary nutrients for the tree to grow.



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Origin and Distribution



A. pintoi originated from central Brazil. It was harvested near the Jequitinhonha River. It had been spread to Argentina, Australia and the US. Later on, the plant was spread to the Pacific, South-east Asia and Central America.



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Importance to People



A. pintoi is a very good ground cover plant in gardening. Since it coexists with other plants, it can help gardeners grow their other plants due to its nitrogen production. Plus, it provides great pest control and holds the soil. The water conservation and erosion control will be very useful in keeping fertile soil and using the stored water to supply the soil. It can even be used as a feed for many kinds of primary consumers. Studies have shown that it provides 13-25% of crude protein and 60% percent dry matter digestibility. This can prove to be a possible benefit to farmers who have to spend to feed their livestock. Using this common plant can reduce the cost for farmers to feed their animals and maximize profit.



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Survivability and Endangered Status



A. pintoi isn’t an endangered plant. In fact, it is quite common as it has been spreading. The plant is very flexible in terms of habitat conditions and commonly found co-existing with other plants. The fact that it is very hard to eliminate means that secondary succession is very unlikely. Despite destruction from predators and other natural occurrences, the plant’s stolons can easily regenerate the population. Its beneficial conditions make it more than enough for the plant to survive. It is a hardy, stable, flexible easy to maintain as well as ornamental. There aren’t any present competitors with the plant because it mixes well in a garden and is flexible to coexist with other plants. It is a common plant and is seen in many different places.



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Potential Solutions


Arachis Pintoi is a beneficial plant to people and plants. Plants are benefited by the nutrients given to the soil, the water trapped and the pesto control. The plants can benefit and grow. Crops and trees can grow better and benefit the farmers by taking work off from tending because the plant is self sufficient and coexists peacefully with other plants. It is also a very hardy plant. The roots hold on to the soil and prevent erosion and keep the plants in place. The stolons can grow and spread the area the plant is covering after a catastrophic event. Even in neglect the plant survives because it can trap water and provide the soil with vital nutrients.


Possibility 1 -



Introduce Peanut Grass as a feed for people who raise cattle and or goats. These farmers don’t make too much income.Wild Peanut Grass grows by King’s Road can serve as a potential grazing ground for domesticated herbivores. The animals can gain a good source of nutrition and also save money for the farmers concerning animal feed. The farmers that save the money can maximise profits and gain more income.




  • Lowers the cost for feeds
  • Provides a very renewable resource as food
  • Maximizes profits
  • Gives good nutrition for the cattle and goat
  • Idea can spread and benefit more farmers




  • It will take time for un-educated to understand the benefits of Peanut Grass
  • Consuming the grass might spark trouble with the owners of the property the Peanut Grass grows on
  • Parasites that hide in the plants could attack the livestock
  • The food source could be too far away from the resting place of the cattle raiser



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Possibility 2 -



Introduce Peanut Grass to a relatively poor farming area to improve soil conditions and ultimately the plants. The crops and trees can benefit from the nutrients produced by the Peanut grass and help grow the crops more efficiently. Water trapped and pest control is additional benefits for the plants that coexist with the Peanut grass when sustainable ground cover is achieved.




  • The plants will benefit the soil and help the crops grow
  • It will take off work from watering the plants because of the plant’s water trapping ability
  • The plant can keep pests from the plants
  • The farmers could grow crops more efficiently




  • There needs to be a specific village to apply
  • Transportation of plants will take time
  • Extensive care will be needed
  • Monitoring will require long car trips back and forth



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Possibility 3 -



Introduce Peanut Grass to a garden plot in a nearby village whose soil has been eroded into the streets overtime. This adds work to the street cleaners of the village because the soil eroded is left on the roads and on the sidewalk. The soil gradually accumulates into the drainage area. The collected soil from the erosion starts to clog up the drain and renders them ineffective for their original use. The soil level has also decreased from the original base.




  • The soil will be held together
  • The person running the village has connections to extra peanut grass plants and can provide them for planting
  • The village is nearby and other people using the car are working there
  • The soil will be held and work will be taken off the street cleaners for cleaning eroded soil
  • The plant will spread and decorate the garden




  • Some money may be needed to pay for soil and the transfer
  • Only a small plot of land is being planted on compared to the whole park
  • Monitoring of the plants after the due date of the project will be required]
  • A nursery might have to be contacted if plants aren’t available or sufficient



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  • Cadisch, Georg. "Nitrogen mineralization from soils under Arachis pintoi-based pastures ." March 2008.http://www.tecnicapecuaria.org.mx/journal/publicacion04.php?IdPublicacion=733 (accessed May 4, 2009).
  • CTAHR, "Perinial Peanut." May 1, 2009.http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/sustainag/CoverCrops/perennial_peanut.asp (accessed April 30 2009).
  • ECHO, "LEGUMINOUS TROPICAL PASTURE AND FEED CROPS." January 12, 2006.http://www.echotech.org/mambo/index.php?Itemid=54&id=25&option=com_content&task=view (accessed April 28 2009).
  • Flower Fiore, "Arachis Pintoi." April 10, 2008.http://flowerfiore.com/plant/arachis-pintoi-pinto-peanut/ (accessed May 8, 2009).
  • Greg, W.C. "Arachis Pintoi." June 2005.http://plants.usda.gov/java/ClassificationServlet?source=display&classid=ARAC (accessed April 28, 2009).
  • Interview with Mr. Henry. May 9,2009).
  • Interview with Mrs. Soto. May 4, 2009).
  • Yi-bin, Huang. "UTILIZATION OF ARACHIS PINTOI IN RED SOIL REGION AND ITS EFFICIENCY ON WATER-SOIL CONSERVATION IN CHINA." July 2004.http://www.tucson.ars.ag.gov/isco/isco13/PAPERS%20R-Z/YIBIN.pdf (accessed April 27 2009).




Special Thanks To:


  • Mrs. Soto for allowing the planting of Peanut Grass in the park of Arcadia Village
  • Mr. Henry for helping with landscaping and assisting in the planting of Peanut Grass
  • Lulu Lim for translating to the Filipinos met
  • Tina Hillario for connecting to Mrs. Soto
  • Arcadia Village Guards for conducting the investigation of the drain and helping the cause


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