Kava, piper methysticum, is a hardy perennial belonging to the pepper family, piperaceae. Cultivated throughout the South Pacific and as far north to Hawaii, it thrives in tropical to sub-tropical climates. The plant, which is a stocky, non-climbing shrub is quite ornate having smooth thick stalks with heart shaped leaves. Kava has been cultivated for such a long time by humans it no longer produces viable seed and must be propagated vegetatively by cuttings. Its active principals, Kavalactones, are concentrated in its roots.