Common Names: Acuyo, momo, root beer plant, Mexican pepperleaf
Scientific Name: Piper auritum
Climate: Hot, warm and cold
Plant description: The Acuyo is a dense bush with thin stems and a fragile consistency, with light green heart-shaped leaves. The leaves are 20 to 35 cm long and 12-25 cm wide. The bush itself is two five meters high with a leafy crown. It has tiny yellowish-white flowers that grow along a 10-12 cm spike.
Cultivation: Although they can thrive in full sun exposure if sufficiently watered, acuyo will grow best in semi-shade or shade. It prefers well-drained soil that contains enough organic matter and is able to retain some moisture (loam, silt or clay).
Acuyo is easy to propagate through cuttings of 10-15 cm long stems or through the offspring born at the foot of the adult plants.
The establishment of the crop can be done throughout the year, preferably during the warm months, on a fertile and loose substrate.
The plants maintain a continuous growth from 5 to 11 months. It is considered that 5 months after the transplant is the most convenient age to start harvesting. It can be associated with herbaceous and shrub species such as banana, yucca, corn.
This plant does not tolerate drought. Watering must be regular so that the soil does not dry out completely, but neither should it be watered. It is recommended to fertilize at least twice a year, in the spring and again at the beginning of the summer. The plant can be lightly pruned after flowering to control its growth.
Uses: It is a shrub from which plant extracts used as insecticides for agricultural pests are obtained. It is also used to "cure" corn, a bunch of momo is put in each sack of corn.
The stalks and leaves are edible. It is a medicinal plant used as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, used for problems with skin, is also recognized as a natural dewormer and a medicine that improves digestion and helps eliminate gas, stomach pain, headache, cough and asthma and hives, the plant can be used in an infusion or in poultices.
Pests and Diseases: It is very resistant to plagues and diseases.
En español: Acuyo (momo)