Punahk “Ground Nut”

This vine is a common plant that grows in fields and along trails. The swollen underground tuber was boiled or roasted and eaten like a potato. Colonial people have even called it Indian potato.


Groundnuts can be eaten raw but are usually boiled or roasted and then added to soups and stews. They have a mild flavor and are used much like potatoes, but they are more nutritious. In fact, groundnuts contain three times the protein of a potato. These tubers can also be stored, similar to potatoes, in a cool, dry area for an extended period of time

This type of structure has been identified at several Pequot farmsteads on the reservation. The stone foundation was covered with logs and earth creating a cool underground cellar for food storage in the hot summer months.
Many native and colonial medicinal plants prefer to grow in open fields. Plants like plantain, mullein, cow-vein, dandelion and clover have many uses.