Peanuts are legumes despite their more common use in recipes as nuts. The number of species of the Leguminosae family, to which all legumes belong, exceeds 18,000. The fruit of the plant, known as the pod, is typically split into two halves.
While most nuts grow on trees, the peanut grows underground, with the actual plants reaching about 18 inches in height. The growing cycle of a peanut is approximately five months. Like other legumes, peanuts are high in protein and rich in other nutrients. A 1-ounce serving of peanuts contains 9 percent of the recommended daily value of dietary fiber, 16 percent of vitamin E and riboflavin, 19 percent of niacin and 13 percent of protein.