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Lepidium Meyenii is a vegetable / herb native to the high Andes of Peru and Bolivia. The leaves of this low-laying plant form rosettes atop a taproot that resembles a turnip. This species has been used for centuries dating back too Incan warriors who took the herb before battle. Also known as Maca, this highly nutritious plant is said to improve strength and endurance. It is also distributed around the world as an aphrodisiac. Studies have shown it to increase libido and improve semen quality in men. Although, it has not proved to increase hormone levels. In addition to these benefits, maca is widely used as an edible in its native region for both humans and livestock. Like turnips, the root is boiled and eaten. The root is also ground into flour, and the leaves are used raw like lettuce. Some people even ferment the plant to produce a weak type of beer.
Ideally, lepidium meyenii should be grown at high altitudes, but it will also grow elsewhere. Meyenii thrives in cold conditions and poor soils. It can tolerate a wide variety of soils, but grows naturally in those containing high levels of clay and limestone. Seeds should be sown on the surface of the soil. Covering your container with clear plastic will help keep the humidity in while the plants are tiny. As they reach a few inches, transplant to the ground in a location that has full sun to partial shade. This plant requires moderate water.