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Floridaseeds

Stevia Sweetleaf Stevia rebaudiana 50 Seeds

Stevia Sweetleaf Stevia rebaudiana 50 Seeds

Regular price $10.99 USD
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Stevia rebaudiana is a small perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the Asteraceae family, which also includes sunflowers and daisies. It is a plant native to South America, specifically to Paraguay and Brazil. It is known for its sweet leaves, which have been used for centuries by indigenous people in these regions to sweeten beverages and foods. The sweet compounds in stevia leaves are called steviol glycosides, with the most notable ones being stevioside and rebaudioside A.

Stevia has gained popularity as a natural sweetener with zero calories, making it an attractive alternative to traditional sugar for people looking to reduce their calorie intake or manage conditions like diabetes. Stevia is also several hundred times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar), so only a small amount is needed to achieve the desired sweetness.

 

Here are some key characteristics of the Stevia rebaudiana plant:

Appearance: The Stevia plant is typically 1 to 2 feet in height and has slender, branched stems with green, serrated leaves.

Leaves: The leaves of the Stevia plant are the primary source of its sweetness. They are about 2 to 3 centimeters long, oval-shaped, and have a serrated edge. The sweet compounds, known as steviol glycosides, are concentrated in the leaves.

Flowers: Stevia produces small, white flowers arranged in clusters. However, the flowers are not the main part of the plant used for sweetening purposes.

Cultivation: Stevia is cultivated in a variety of climates but generally thrives in subtropical and tropical regions. It requires well-drained soil and prefers a warm environment with plenty of sunlight. Stevia can be grown from seeds or cuttings.

Sweet Compounds: The sweetness of Stevia is attributed to compounds such as stevioside and rebaudioside, which are glycosides found in the leaves. These compounds are significantly sweeter than sucrose (table sugar) but contribute negligible calories to the diet.

Harvesting: The leaves of the Stevia plant are typically harvested just before the plant flowers, as this is when the concentration of steviol glycosides is highest. The leaves can be used fresh or dried.

Usage: Traditionally, indigenous people in South America used Stevia leaves to sweeten herbal teas and medicinal concoctions. In modern times, extracts from Stevia leaves are used as a sugar substitute in various food and beverage products.

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