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Wild Peanut Flower

Common name for a kind of ornamental grass, belonging to the botanical species Arachis and with the binomial names Arachis duranensis, Arachis spegazzinii, and Arachis argentinensis. It blooms bright yellow flowers, that strongly resemble those of the Peanut Plant (Arachis hypogaea - fig.) and the Perennial Peanut (Arachis pintoi), hence the name. The grass however consists of more rounded leaves and under the ground it bears a different kind of peanut with a much smoother husk. Even though this is a wild plant, it is often used in oriental gardens, especially as a ground cover for lawns and at the base of trees. Science has found that the peanuts that we eat today, i.e. Arachis hypogaea, originates from two plants, namely Arachis ipaensis and Arachis duranensis. Biologically examined, A. duranensis has the A genome, and A. Ipaensis has the B genome, while the chromosomes are exactly the same. It is assumed that it has a common ancestor, but evolved to survive in the environment until it eventually split into two new species. Whereas A. duranensis is endemic to Argentina, hence the binomial synonym A. argentinensis, A. ipaensis settled in Bolivia, separated from each other by the Andes Mountains. However, over time insects caused the two species to join up so that the genomes that were previously separated joined up again to complete the genome sequence and enabling it to reproduce  again. Hence, the cultivated peanut, of which China and India together account for more than 50% of the world's total production, is an allotetraploid thought to have derived from hybridization between the diploids A. duranensis (A genome) and A. ipaensis (B genome). See also thua lisong.