48 Sherman Drive Beaufort, SC 29907 [email protected] (843) 525 9454 and (843) 592-8150 (try both)

Naturescapes of Beaufort, SC

Piper auritum (Hierba Santa, Hoja Santa, Momon)


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4′-15′ tall Latin American culinary and medicinal herb with huge heart-shaped leaves and curious white flowers give a jungle-like feel to any garden. Spreads by stolons to form large patches. In good ground it can grow tall enough make shade in one year. In colder weathers, it will freeze to the ground but quickly grows back in the Spring.  Often, only the leaves or smallest branches freeze, allowing to get very tall. As a migraineur, the Herba Santa grove makes a good retreat during the heat of the day.  It is not invasive, it does not produce viable seed in our area. I have been growing it for over 15 years, but it has never escaped to the woods around my home.

The leaves, stems and flowers are rich in flavor. The juicy stems and flowers are delicious raw. The leaves are great cooked with oyster mushrooms, chicken, eggs and seafood. They can even be used as edible food wrappers.  Besides tasting great, chewing on the stems is one of the most effective ways I know of to control my migraines.

Mine are growing over my clayey drainfield on the north side of my home. They are very robust there. There is not much water going into my drainfield and I do not water them, but they are able to extract moisture from the clay. They stay short when planted on dry soil. The area is in part to full shade. I have never tried growing them in the full sun. I have never seen any damage by deer, insects or fungi on them.

I got my original plants from Ned Rahn of Port Royal, SC and Robin Carrier of Beaufort, SC.

I am too tired to add the sizes and pricing now. Send me a note if you are interested in them and I will add those.

We do not normally grow them in pots.  Let us know a few days ahead and we will pot them for you so that they can get them ready.