Hoja Santa

 In
Hoja Santa

Piper auritum
Root Beer Plant
2

5 feet
2

5 feet
Tropical Americas
  • Full Shade
  • Part Sun/Shade
  • Medium
  • Flowering

About This Plant

Best in shade; in sun it will wither, but recover with every rainfall. Hoja Santa is an interesting herbaceous perennial with heart-shaped leaves and knotty stems, forming spreading clumps during summer. Give it south wall protection and full shade.

Children who’ve smelled the leaves call it the root beer plant; the flowers even look like straws. In Mexico hoja santa is used to wrap meat or fish and to flavor soup, mole verde, and chocolate. (However, it contains a carcinogen — safrole — so use sparingly.)

Maintenance

Wilts in sun. Plan on cutting it back in winter; and wait for rain.

Features

Plant Type:
Herb
Size:
2-5' H, 2-5' W
Sunlight Requirements:
Full Shade, Part Sun/Shade
Soil Types:
Clay, Sandy
Wildlife:
Flower Color:
White
Bloom Time:
September, October
Freeze Hardy:
Yes
Invasive:
Yes
Caution:
None
Coupon Eligible:
No

This plant goes well with

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