Unformatted text preview: by the Arawak
Indians. There is archaeological evidence of their existence from Mexico, dated 1300-2200
BP. After European contact, groundnuts were dispersed world-wide. The Peruvian runner
type was taken to the Western Pacific, China, Southeast Asia and Madagascar. The
Spanish probably introduced the Virginia type to Mexico, via The Philippines, in the
sixteenth century. The Portuguese then took it to Africa, and later to India, via Brazil.
Virginia types apparently reached the Southeast US with the slave trade. Gibbons et al.
(1972) noted substantial secondary diversity in Africa and Asia. The types they found and
their locations supported these various conjectures regarding dispersal.
2. Taxonomy and Classification The genus Arachis belongs to family Fabaceae, subfamily Papilionaceae, tribe
Aeschynomeneae, subtribe Stylosanthinae. This genus is morphologically well defined and
distinguished from other genera by having a peg and geocarpic reproductive growth. The
genus Arachis has more than 70 wild species, of which on...
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- Spring '14