Peanuts are legumes with a very unique growth cycle. There are four principal
varieties under commercial cultivation around the world: Virginia,
Runner, Spanish and Valencia.
Virginia and Runner peanuts are low, bushy plants
which have two large
seeds per pod. Spanish and Valencia are more erect and have smaller
. Each different variety is suited to certain soils and climatic
conditions - and today, Australian agricultural scientists are developing
a wide range of sub-types of these four basic variants to extend the plants
In the USA, peanuts are also widely known as goobers, goober peas, groundpeas,
ground nuts or earth nuts. Here in Australia, though, we generally call them
peanuts wherever they're grown and regardless of the variety being cultivated.