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Stevia rebaudiana - Bertoni.

Common Name Stevia, Candyleaf
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards May cause dizziness, headache, flatulence, nausea & muscle pain. Caution with diabetic patients. May increase blood pressure lowering effects of allopathic medicine [301].
Habitats Infertile, sandy acid soils with shallow water tables. This is normally in areas like the edge of mashes and grassland communities.
Range S. America - Brazil, Paraguay.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Half Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Stevia rebaudiana Stevia, Candyleaf

Stevia rebaudiana Stevia, Candyleaf


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Stevia rebaudiana is a ANNUAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 9 and is frost tender. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Eupatorium rebaudianum.

Plant Habitats

 Cultivated Beds; South Wall. By. West Wall. By.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves
Edible Uses: Sweetener

Leaves - raw or cooked. A very sweet liquorice-like flavour[K]. The leaves contain 'stevioside', a substance that is 300 times sweeter than sucrose[183]. Other reports say that they contain 'estevin' a substance that, weight for weight, is 150 times sweeter than sugar[4, 46, 61, 105]. The dried leaves can be ground and used as a sweetener or soaked in water and the liquid used in making preserves[183]. The powdered leaves are also added to herb teas[183]. The leaves are sometimes chewed by those wishing to reduce their sugar intake[183]. The leaves can also be cooked and eaten as a vegetable[105, 177].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Prefers a sandy soil, requiring a warm sunny position[200]. It is a short day plant, growing up to 0.6 meters in the wild and flowering from January to March in the southern hemisphere. Flowering under short day conditions should occur 54-104 days following transplanting, depending on the daylength sensitivity of the cultivar. The natural climate is semi-humid subtropical with temperature extremes from 21 to 43 C, averaging 24 C. Stevia grows in areas with up to 1375mm of rain a year. Plants are not very frost resistant, but can be grown as half-hardy annuals in Britain, starting them off in a greenhouse and planting them out after the last expected frosts.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a warm greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Make sure the compost does not dry out. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots and grow them on fast, planting them out after the last expected frosts. It could be worthwhile giving them some protection such as a cloche or cold frame for a few weeks after planting them out until they are growing away well.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

SOUTHERN AMERICA: Brazil (Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais), Paraguay (Amambay, Concepción)

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


Links / References

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Readers comment

sridharan a   Thu Nov 6 15:22:14 2003

can we grow this ,stevia,in trophical climate.If yes what is the maxm teperature it can with stand?

Rich   Thu Apr 29 10:21:40 2004

It should be noted that there are possible side effects associated with Stevia. Futhermore it is banned for sale as a food or food ingredient in the UK, EU. In the US it can only be sold as a dietary supliment and not as a sweatner. See for example Food Standards Agency and Center for Science in the public interest.

To give the other side of the argument there are many site promoting its use which are critical on existing studies www.stevia.net

kripa   Tue Sep 23 06:52:02 2003

The plant is very useful one for persons with NIDDM and with hypetension as well. it is an important breakthrough in the field of medicinal plants and nutrition

[email protected]   Tue Dec 20 2005

Es excelente aditivo de azúcar sin caloria, especial para diabeticos tipo A y B. En el Paraguayexisten unas 600 hectáreas de cultivo y en e presente año fue declarado de interes nacional por el Gobierno. Se pretende darle mayor impulso para su cultivo, y exportar al Japon, EE.UU. y Francia. Excelente para los 50 millones de diabeticos que tiene los EE.UU. de Norteamerica. LA USAID en Paraguay ha dado apoyo para conocer mas de este cultivo y su mercadeoa este producto nativo de Paraguay. El precio que se paga en el Paraguay por las hojas es de un dólare el kilo, y falta incentivar más por un mejor precio y crédito para los productores, además de la extension agraria para la capacitación. Tiene futuro, y depende de que los Gobiernos interesados en importar la materia prima, como las hojas, las ramas y el producto cristalizado como azucar dietica, sea apoyado para que se le de mayor impulso. Me inicie en el cultivo de 1.000 plantas y he visto que es planta que realmente es el elixir de los guaranìes, ya que los indígenas los utilizaban para endulzar sus alimentos, además del uso medicinal. Es bueno para la hipertensión, el colesterol, como también para la purificación de la sangre. En los animales vacunos, pollos parrilleros, se ha utilizado a dosis de 0,15 gramos por kilo de alimentos y permitió mayor peso al termino de crecimiento

jaroslava   Thu Feb 28 2008

Hello, can you please, send me the email adresse of the company, where I can buy "Stevia rebaudiana" pots. Becose I can not find what I really wanted. [email protected] Thanks a lot Jaroslava

paul norton   Wed Feb 18 2009

where I can buy "Stevia rebaudiana"

Sarah Mallett   Sun Dec 6 2009

Hello, Yes, someone else wanting to know where Stevia seed can be purchased from in the UK. [email protected] Thanks.

   Jul 9 2011 12:00AM

I find this plant very useful, its great in tea's to add sweetness and you only need a small amount. Makes lovely Sweet Morroccan mint tea that is guilt free as stevia has no calories. I have a large plant from a cutting purchesed last year and am growing new plants from cuttings myself. I hope to use it as a sweetner in other things as I gain more dried plant material. Its been used for 30 years in Japan without problems.

   Nov 20 2011 12:00AM

This plant is really interesting, a sweetener with zero calories! I hope i can buy stevia on european market soon...

   Apr 23 2017 12:00AM

Stevia Kills Lyme Disease Pathogen Better Than Antibiotics (Preclinical Study) http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/stevia-kills-lyme-disease-pathogen-better-antibiotics-preclinical-study

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