The most commonly used variety to roast is the Española groundnut. Other varieties such as Roja Tennessee are intended for animal feeding and the variety Virginia is also used to produce oil.
The most cultivated groundnut varieties in the world, distributed in the different continents, are Virginia, Española and Roja Tennessee, being the latter mainly intended for animal feeding.
In Brazil, spontaneous species grow. One of these varieties is Arachis prostata, that has been cultivated since the very old times.
Varieties can be classified in two groups, those from an erect plant and the crawling type. Almost all the commercial varieties belong to the first group.
Some varieties such as Virginia are cultivated for oil production, forage and human consumption. Others, such as “Española” are mainly used to roast.
Each area has obtained adapted precocious and late local varieties.
The " malgache groundnut’ is original of tropical Africa, but nowadays it is found in Asia and areas of Northern Australia, South and Central America. The “kersting groundnut” originates in the West African savannahs, being the most restricted cultivation area; it is possible to find it in Mali, High Volta, Nigeria, Togo and Benin.
Some groundnut varieties:
This fruit usually contains 2 seeds. It is cultivated for the production of oil, forage and for human consumption. The pods containing the fruit are big and thick walled.
This fruit usually contains 2 seeds and its shell is difficult to break. It has not got a high production. It is mainly intended to be roasted or cooked. The pods are small and with thin walls.
Its scientific name is Voandzeia subterranea. It belongs to another species and is also known as groundpea. There are different malgache types depending on the height of the bush. The seeds are round, oval-shaped, hard or wrinkled and a fruit may have one or more seeds. It is original of tropical Africa, but at present they are found in Asia and Northern Australia areas, South and Central America.
Scientifically named Kerstingiella geocarpa. It is another groundnut species. The pods contain 1 to 3 seeds, usually two. It originated in the West African savannahs, the cultivation area is very restricted; it is possible to find it in Mali, High Volta, Nigeria, Togo and Benin.