Photo by: Chris Kilham © 2010

Maca, Brugmansia, Coca

I have had an intimate relationship with maca dating back to 1997. Maca is a highly valuable crop to the people of the central highlands of the Peruvian Andes. These photos capture a little slice of maca country.

Maca grows in a limited geographic area in Peru at elevations between 10,000 and 15,000 feet. The primary area of maca cultivation is the Junin plateau, where approximately one thousand acres of maca are grown annually, mostly in small family plots. The Junin plateau is legendary for its hostile conditions. Temperatures often plunge below zero, snow is common in summer, the air is oxygen-thin, and the rocky soil supports very little plant life. Maca is unusually frost-resistant, and thrives in bad conditions. To learn more about this fascinating plant, read our Maca Botanical Sheet.