Stevia rebaudiana, Eupatorium rebaudianum, Stevia, Sweet leaf of Paraguay, Sweet-herb, Honey yerba, Honeyleaf, Candy leaf

Stevia rebaudiana, Eupatorium rebaudianum

Stevia, Sweet leaf of Paraguay, Sweet-herb, Honey yerba, Honeyleaf, Candy leaf
Family: Asteraceae
Origin: Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia and Paraguay
Groundcover and low-growing 2ft plantSmall plant 2-5 ftSemi-shadeFull sunModerate waterRegular waterWhite, off-white flowersEdible plantSpice or herb plantEthnomedical plant.
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Stevia rebaudiana is a herbaceous perennial, which is normally used as a natural herbal sweetener. This is a plant where the native Guarani have used caa-ehe (stevia) for over 1500 years to sweeten otherwise unpalatable medicinal drinks. It is a short day plant, growing up to 1.5Ft in the wild and flowering from January to March in the southern hemisphere. The dried leaves can be ground and used as a sweetener or soaked in water and the liquid used in making preserves. The powdered leaves are also added to herb teas. The leaves are sometimes chewed by those wishing to reduce their sugar intake. The leaves can also be cooked and eaten as a vegetable. Stevia grows naturally on infertile, sandy acid soils with shallow water tables. This is normally in areas like the edge of mashes and grassland communities. The natural climate is semi-humid subtropical. While the herb's native locale may make it appear somewhat exotic, it has proved to be quite adaptable and capable of being cultivated in climate zones as diverse as Florida and southern Canada.

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