‘The extracts of Stevia rebaudiana are said to be 300 times sweeter than sugar.’ When I first read about it, I was intrigued.
What a novelty, I thought.
I wanted to plant it but there was no any point scouring the garden centres as it hadn’t reached our shores then. I had to look for seeds instead.
The seeds germinated and soon I had stevia plants. It was some months before I could taste it. As soon as it was robust enough, I sampled a leaf.
I had expected it to taste like a spoonful of sugar but it didn’t. It was slighty sweet and had an aftertaste. But visitors to the garden are always thrilled when I let them try a leaf or two.
The stevia can now be found quite easily at many garden centres so anyone can buy a pot and grow their own. I hardly use the herb but my neighbor says she adds it to her soups for extra flavor.
There is some debate over this small perennial herb which is purportedly banned in a few countries and advocated as a godsend in others.
In the meantime though, it remains in our garden – an interesting conversation piece even for those who profess to be averse to plants and gardening.
Care and propagation: well drained soil, partial to full sun, water moderately; propagate using seeds or cuttings