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Arachis (family Leguminosae, subfamily Papilionatae) A genus of perennial herbs which are geocarpic (after flowering the inflorescence axis elongates so that the pods open below ground). A. hypogaea (peanut, groundnut, monkey nut) is not known in the wild, but is widely cultivated for the edible seed and oil; it is also used for soap and lubrication; the residues make cattle feed, and the green haulms make excellent fodder. There are 12 species, occurring in America from the Amazon River south to Argentina.