Cashew is a multipurpose tree of the Amazon that grows up to 15 m high. It has a thick and tortuous trunk with branches so winding that they frequently reach the ground. Cashew trees are often found growing wild on the drier sandy soils in the central plains of Brazil and are cultivated in many parts of the Amazon rainforest.
Stevia is a perennial shrub that grows up to 1 m tall and has leaves 2-3 cm long. It belongs to the Aster family, which is indigenous to the northern regions of South America. Stevia is still found growing wild in the highlands of the Amambay and Iguacu districts (a border area between Brazil and Paraguay). It is estimated that as many as 200 species of Stevia are native to South America; however, no other Stevia plants have exhibited the same intensity of sweetness as S. rebaudiana. It is grown commercially in many parts of Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Central America, Israel, Thailand, and China.
Pata de vaca is a small tree that grows 5-9 m tall. Its leaves are 7-10 cm long and shaped like a cow's hoof, which is distinctive to the Bauhinia genus. Its Brazilian name, pata de vaca, translates to cow's foot. It produces large, drooping white flowers and a brown seed pod resembling that of mimosa. It can be found in the rainforests and tropical parts of Peru and Brazil, as well as in tropical zones of Asia, eastern Paraguay, and northeastern Argentina.