|Stevia rebaudiana flowers|
It is a small seasonal plant which grows to a height of 30–60 cm (0.98–1.97 ft). It has elongated leaves that grow along the stems and are lined up against each other. Flowers are typically trimmed to improve the taste of the leaves. Stevia is a tender perennial native to parts of Brazil and Paraguay having humid, wet environments.
Stevia is widely grown for its leaves, from which extracts can be manufactured as sweetener products known generically as stevia and sold under various trade names. The chemical compounds that produce its sweetness are various steviol glycosides (mainly stevioside and rebaudioside), which have 200–300 times the sweetness of sugar. Stevia leaves contain 9.1% stevioside and 3.8% rebaudioside A.