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Stevia rebaudiana

Candyleaf, Stevia, Sugar Leaf, Sugarleaf, Sweet Leaf, Sweetleaf

 Criole variety.

In Stock: 4.879 lb (Total:4.879lb)
  • Stevia rebaudiana

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Buying options

4.88 lb

Details

Germination:
40%
Germination test:
estimate
Purity:
70%
Seeds per lb:
922,500
Quantity:
4.88 lb
Collected in:
India
Crop year:
2021
Item ID:
1830081

Growing Info

Scarification
Scarification: none required
Stratification
Stratification: none required
Germination
Germination: surface sow and keep moist, requires light for germination

Other: Seed needs warm temperatures after sowing to germinate (75 degrees F +) 

While the stevia plant has been used for over 1500 years by the Guaraní people of Brazil and Paraguay, it has gained popularity worldwide for its sweet leaves. The leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant contain 'stevioside,' a substance that is 300 times sweeter than sucrose, making it an ideal natural sugar substitute. Some reports even claim that the leaves contain 'estevin,' a substance that is 150 times sweeter than sugar. The dried leaves can be ground and used as a sweetener or soaked in water to make liquid preserves. Stevia is highly sought after by those on carbohydrate-controlled diets due to its negligible effect on blood glucose levels, making it an attractive option for those looking to reduce their sugar intake with almost zero calories.

Stevia rebaudiana, commonly known as candyleaf, sweetleaf, sweet leaf, or sugarleaf, is a tender perennial native to parts of Brazil and Paraguay. Although it favors humid and wet environments, the root does not tolerate standing water. The plant is cultivated for its sweet leaves, which are the source of stevia sweetener products sold under various trade names. The chemical compounds responsible for its sweetness are steviol glycosides, mainly stevioside and rebaudioside, which are 250-300 times sweeter than sugar. The leaves can be consumed fresh, added to teas, or used in various food preparations.

Stevia rebaudiana can also be grown commercially, with countries like China, Korea, Thailand, and Brazil producing and using it to sweeten food. The plant has a long history of use by indigenous communities, who called it "ka'a he'ê" or sweet herb, using it to sweeten yerba mate tea and as a medicinal herb. In the early 20th century, the glycosides stevioside and rebaudioside were isolated, and their structure was characterized in the mid-20th century. Stevia is now widely cultivated and consumed in various countries worldwide.

Despite its sweetness, stevia has been reported to have several health benefits. It is claimed to have antibacterial and anti-fungal activity and has been extensively studied for its potential as an alternative low-calorie sweetener. The plant is mainly propagated through cloning, as germination from seeds is limited. While its leaves are its most well-known feature, the plant also produces small flowers and can be found growing in semi-arid habitats ranging from grasslands to mountain terrain.

In conclusion, Stevia rebaudiana, commonly known as candyleaf, sweetleaf, sweet leaf, or sugarleaf, is a popular natural sugar substitute known for its extremely sweet leaves. With a sweetness 300 times that of sucrose, it is highly sought after by those on carbohydrate-controlled diets. The plant is native to parts of Brazil and Paraguay, and its leaves can be consumed fresh, used in teas, or added to various foods. Stevia has a long history of use by indigenous communities and is cultivated and consumed globally. Its potential health benefits and antibacterial properties make it a compelling alternative to traditional sweeteners.

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