Maca (Lepidium meyenii)

This name is also a Quechua word. Maca is an annual herb but managed as a biennial crop. The first year maca grows vegetatively forming edible hypocotyls 6-8 months after planting. The second year maca grows reproductively and sets flowers and produces orthodox seeds. Maca cultivation is mostly restricted to the central Peruvian Andes (3500-4500 masl). Traditional uses include the putative enhancement of human and animal fertility. In Peru, about 3000 ha are sown annually. Global interest in maca is increasing rapidly. In 2014, more than 1200 patent applications related to maca were filed, mainly from China.