Miracle Fruit (Synsepalum dulcificum)

A relatively tasteless berry with an amazing side-effect. After eating one miracle fruit, sour things will instantly taste sweet. Eating even the sourest of lemons, one will taste only sugary sweetness. The effect lasts an hour or two. The miracle fruit is a remarkable natural sweetener that is virtually unknown to much of the world.

Description: A slow growing bush or small tree to 15ft.

Hardiness: Hardy to about 32F. Plants will show a slow decline in cooler temperatures (below 55F) and prefer a year-round warm climate.

Growing Environment: Needs acidic soil and is intolerant to alkaline conditions. Growing in half soil-half peat works well and plants will benefit considerably from occasional applications of acidic fertilizer. Will tolerate minimal frost when full grown, but plants need lots of water year round. The miracle fruit cannot be grown outside in the United States except Southern Florida, but it makes an easy house plant. Fruit is produced throughout the year and hundreds of berries can be harvested from a single plant. The miracle fruit grows and fruits well in containers.

Propagation: By seeds. Seeds should not be dried out before planting.

Uses: Berries are eaten fresh. In its native range, Africans sometimes use the fruits to improve the taste of stale food. Fruits are being investigated as a possible source for a natural food sweetener.

Native Range: Native to tropical West Africa.