The physiological basis for responses to daylength of a photoperiod sensitive groundnut genotype (NC Ac 17090) was investigated by comparing its growth and development in natural daylength with that in an artificially manipulated photoperiod in three field experiments. Photoperiod did not influence the thermal time to flowering, or the subsequent appearance of flowers until 900–950 flowers m−2 had appeared. Thereafter flowers continued to appear in short, but not in long, days. In each experiment, long days increased the thermal time between the initiation of each peg and pod, and the thermal time required for each fruit to mature. These fruit initiation and developmental changes were reflected in the partitioning of assimilates to pods, this being substantially less in long days than in short. Changes in pod initiation rate, partitioning co-efficient, and the thermal time taken for a pod to mature were related to mean daylength.