Produces a sweet tuber that is best harvested in the fall or early spring. Each plant produces small underground rhizomes which eventually fill an area with small 1-2 inch long tubers. The flavor of these tubers is just like a pea and has a crispy texture like a water chestnut. Rated very high in taste tests by the Plants for a Future Database, earth pea is a must for all perennial vegetable gardens. The yields are not massive but do supply enough for a few harvests in the spring and fall. They are easy to harvest growing along a rhizome type root and are usually shallow in the soil. The plant is easily trellised and can produce the most tubers in full sun with good organic mulch surrounding the plants. The seeds are not edible and normally are not produced in large amounts. This species is found wild growing in grassy meadows in Russia and Siberia. Best in full sun but will tolerate some shade. Zone 3-7 / -25°C
Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in early spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Succeeds in any moderately good garden soil, but prefers a limestone soil in a warm position, and likes some shade. A climbing plant, scrambling through other plants and supporting itself by tendrils.