Artanthe aurita (Kunth) Miq.
Artanthe seemanniana Miq.
Piper alstonii Trel.
Piper auritilaminum Trel.
Piper auritilimbum Trel.
Piper heraldi Trel.
Piper perlongipes Trel.
Schilleria aurita (Kunth) Kunth
Common Name: Hoja de Santa Maria
Hoja de Santa Maria is a large, coarse, somewhat succulent, sparsely branched perennial plant growing around 2 metres tall[
]. Rarely, the plant becomes woody below and more tree-like in habit, growing up to 6 metres tall.
The plant is sometimes gathered from the wild for its leaves, which are used as a flavouring in foods.
Western S. America, north to Mexico.
Moist or wet thickets or forest, often in second growth, at elevations up to 1,800 metres, but usually below 900 metres[
]. Often forms dense thickets in abandoned land, partly on account of the great abundance of seeds produced[
When crushed, the stems and leaves emit a strong smell of aniseed[
Young leaves - occasionally cooked and eaten as greens[
]. The leaves become limp as soon as they are picked[
The leaves have the flavour and aroma of sarsaparilla[
]. They are used as a flavouring in soups and other dishes[
]. The leaves are wrapped around tamale dough before it is packed in corn leaves and steamed[
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