candy leaf

Stevia ovata
Shrub
Opposite
Simple
White
Green

Candy Leaf is a perennial plant, 40–80 cm tall, flowers are small, white, in clusters. Leaves are variable in shape, 3-6cm long, generally in opposite pairs along stem but sometimes alternately

Common names 
Also known as: Candy leaf,
Family 
Asteraceae
Deciduous 
No
Flowering time 
Minimal Australian data
Native/Exotic 
Exotic
Origin 
Tropical America
Notifiable 
No
State declaration 
Category 3 - Must not be distributed or disposed. This means it must not be released into the environment unless the distribution or disposal is authorised in a regulation or under a permit.
Council declaration 
As per State Declaration
Known distribution 

S. ovata is only known to exist near Ravenshoe on the Atherton Tableland, where it was collected for the first time in Australia in 2007.

Habitat 

Cooler subtropical and warm temperate areas of southern Queensland appear to be climatically suited to the species in its natural environment it generally persists at elevations between 1000 and 3000m.

Habit 

Candy Leaf is a straggling or erect multi-stemmed perennial shrub with a large persistent taproot from which it reshoots the next year.

Impact and control methods 

A lack of information on this species in the literature makes a prediction of its pest potential difficult. However, visual observation of the species in North Queensland provides evidence that it can rapidly colonise open, disturbed habitats within favourable habitat types

Flowers and fruits 

Flowers are small, white or pale pink daisy flowers that arise in clusters at the ends of the branches and often combine at the apex to form dense compoint umbel-like heads. The tubular flowers have five apical lobes and are minutely glandular. They are grouped into small clusters surrounded by glandular green bracts. The hard brown fruit (achenes) are narrow, longitundinally ridged and smooth (with a few minute hairs), with a small pappus (crown) of scales at the apex

Reproduction and dispersal 

Seeds are dispersed by wind, water, machinery and animals. The longevity of seeds is unknown.