Maca belongs to the genus Lepidoptera and has many commonalities with other genus plants. There are about 175 species of the genus Lepidoptera, which are widely distributed throughout the world; they are herbaceous or semi-shrubs from one year to many years, often with single hairs, glandular hairs, and columnar hairs; stems are single or mostly, branched. Leafy to papery, linearly stellate to broadly elliptic, entire, serrate to pinnately lobed, petiulate, or deeply sessate. Racemes terminal and axillary; segments oblong or linearly lanceolate, slightly concave, base not sessate, sateately sately sately sately sately sately sately sessately sessately sessate , sometimes degenerate or absent; stamens 6, often degenerate into 2 or 4, with tiny nectaries between bases; styles short or absent, stigma capitate, sometimes slightly dilated; ovary often with 2 ovules. Short-horned ovate, obovate, round or elliptic, flattened, lobed, narrowly lanceolate, lobate lobate, or apate. Seeds ovate or elliptic, wingless or winged; cotyledons backed to radicle, rarely marginal radicle.
Maca is an annual herb. The blocky rhizome of the underground part is 10 to 14 cm long, 3 to 5 cm in diameter at the widest part, and 15 cm in circumference. It resembles a small radish. Two types of colors are found in nature, yellow and purple, and the texture is dense. A certain hardness. The plant's fibrous roots are white, up to 15 cm long and extend in large numbers in all directions. The leaves are 20 to 23 cm in length, have scalloped, leaf-shaped, bipinate splits, 8 to 13 cm long, 3 cm wide, and grow vertically to the ground. The petiole is very strong and can reach a length of more than 10 cm. The secondary stem forms branches and is 10 to 16 cm long.
Maca is the only species in the genus L. that has a rich hypocotyl. The hypocotyl is fused with the root to form a rough inverted pear-shaped root. The shape and volume of the Maca roots vary widely, with triangles, ovals or rectangles. Maca's hypocotyls may be golden or yellowish, red, purple, blue, black or green. Each strain is considered to be a unique genetic variety. Special traits (mainly the color of the root) are specially selected for artificial selection based on their different nutritional and therapeutic properties. In Peru, pale yellow roots are the most common, with the best shape and taste.
Darker Maca roots, such as red, purple, and black, contain more iodine. Black maca is considered to be a representative of strength and energy, and the taste is both sweet and slightly bitter.