Common names: Maca, Peruvian ginseng, Peruvian Viagra.
Botanical name: Lepidium meyenii, Brassicaceae or Cruciferae family.
English Names: maca peruvian ginseng.
Of maca, is a plant, annual, perennial vegetable that is in the same category as the radish and watercress and garden that can survive under extreme climatic conditions.
It is one of the oldest (time of the Incas, or even before) that grows wild on the Andean highlands of Peru (3500 m to 4500 m altitude) where the climate is particularly difficult, sun is relentless and the highest temperatures during the day and intense cold night (freezing 4 to 7). Strong winds sweep across the landscape and literally dry out the plants that grow naturally, cause significant soil erosion, resulting in semi-arid climatic conditions.
It develops mainly in a small area of the Andes of Peru, which is considered a true ecological site, which is located in the provinces of Junin and Pasco, in the center of the country, especially on the plateau of Bombon (Junin) . There is also the virgin lands, steppe areas of the Puna who have never been grown before, they are the best crops.
Maca has no apparent stem, it has leaves that form a rosette flat on the ground. It is essentially composed of a huge root that is called a tuber. This oval-shaped root, see white cream, purple or gray depending on the variety of Maca is the edible and medicinal plant. Its flavor is very close to the caramel or coffee.
It is harvested as soon as the leaves begin to yellow, approximately in June, and especially before the arrival of July, due to the fact that plague jellies from this month.