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Types of Peanuts

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

There are two main types of peanuts – bunch and runner. Runner peanuts have long underground stems with shells containing seeds growing the length of that runner, and these peanut plants cover the entire surface of the field. These are the ones I see growing in fields in Calhoun County.

Bunch peanuts have their nuts clustered at the end of their underground stems. From the standpoint of production, runner peanuts have higher yields and almost all peanut butter is made from those. Virginia peanuts are large seeded and selected for a distinctive flavor – they’re sometimes called ball park peanuts and often come at a premium price. In recent years some are sold as blister peanuts – they’re soaked in water and then fried in oil and once you taste them you’ll probably be hooked. Isn’t almost everything better when fried? 

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.