Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a perennial night shade family plant native to the Indian and Asian continents and predominantly cultivated for its creamy white roots that are commonly used as a tea. The plant name is derived from the Sanskrit “ashva,” meaning horse, and “gandha,” meaning smell. The root has a strong aroma that is described as "horse-like." These roots have long been used in Ayurvedic (Indian) medicine as an adaptogen (stress management), diuretic and sedative. While the plant is perennial in warmer climates, it can also be grown as one year annual for fall roots. Start the seeds early as early as possible and harvest 135 days-plus following establishment.100-200 days to mature root. Perennial in zones 9b and above.