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Plant Catalogue



Mexican Kava

Piper auritum 

A large perennial shrub growing to 2 metres, related to Kawakawa and the pacific Kava but without any psychoactive effects.

Also known as Root Beer Plant, a delicious refreshing tea can be made from an infusion of the leaves, with a pleasant sarsaparilla flavour.

This native of South America is much used in Mexican cuisine. It is an essential ingredient of Mole Verde; it is used to wrap meat or fish before cooking; it is used to flavour soups; and also to flavour chocolate drinks.


The plant is tolerant of moderately heavy shade which makes it great for the understorey of food forest systems. It grows quite fast and the soft stems are easy to chop and drop to provide mulch material for neighbouring plants. It can handle wet or dry soils, likes warmth and is damaged by frosts -although established plants will often re-sprout from the base in Spring.

It does not set seed but it can sucker profusely in lighter soils, so it should be planted in a tub or in a spot where it can be managed.


Size: 1.3L

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