The peanut, or groundnut (Arachis hypogaea), is a species in the legume family (Fabaceae) native to South America, Mexico and Central America.  It is an annual herbaceous plant growing to 30 to 50 cm (1 to 1.5 ft) tall. The leaves are opposite, pinnate with four leaflets (two opposite pairs; no terminal leaflet), each leaflet 1 to 7 cm (⅜ to 2¾ in) long and 1 to 3 cm (⅜ to 1 inch) broad. The flowers are a typical peaflower in shape, 2 to 4 cm (¾ to 1½ in) across, yellow with reddish veining. After pollination, the fruit develops into a legume 3 to 7 cm (1 to 2 in) long, containing 1 to 4 seeds, which forces its way underground to mature.
Peanuts are also known as earthnuts, ground nuts, goobers, goober peas, pindas, jack nuts, pinders, manila nuts, g-nuts, and monkey nuts; the last of these is often used to mean the entire pod.