Piper methysticum

COMMON NAME

Kava or kava kava

TYPE

Shrub

FAMILY

Piperaceae

NOTES

An upright, dioecious, evergreen shrub that grows to 10-15’ tall with heart-shaped glossy dark green leaves (to 6” long.) The root of the plant is used to produce a drink with sedative, anesthetic, and euphoriant properties. Preparation involves grinding or pounding the root into a powder and adding the powder to water.

GEOGRAPHIC REGION

New Guinea or Vanuatu

NATIVE HABITAT

Loose, well-drained soils in high rainfall areas.  Kava is an understory plant and doesn’t like too much direct sun

WEB SOURCES

missouribotanicalgarden.org

wikipedia.org

tropical.theferns.info



Piper methysticum