The Encyclopedia of House Plants

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Synsepalum dulcificum

Family: Sapotaceae.

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Common name(s): Miracle Fruit, Miraculous Fruit
Synsepalum dulcificum Genus of about 10 species of evergreen small shrubs or trees, occuring in tropical W. Africa.

Miracle fruit is an evergreen bush or tree growing to 18 ft. in its native habitat, but rarely to 5 ft. otherwise. Simple, alternate 3- 5 leaves clustered at branch tips. The small 1/4 inch white flowers of miracle fruit are produced in flushes through many months of the year.

The fruit is a small bright red, flashy, ellipsoid berry approximately 1" long and containing a single seed. Fruit is produced throughout the year and hundreds of berries can be harvested from a single plant. Flower to fruit in 30 to 45 days.

When a single fruit is eaten and the fleshy pulp allowed to coat the taste buds of the tongue and inside of the mouth, an extraordinary effect occurs. The fruit will now allow one to eat a slice of lemon or lime without wincing. The marvelous aroma and inherent sweetness of the citrus remains but the sourness is almost completely covered. The effect lasts for 1-2 hours or more. It was used as a substitute artificial sweetening and help cancer patients to mask flavors. Freezes whole for preservation.

Synsepalum dulcificum
Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
As an indoor plant, provide the plant with bright light such as a well lit window. In the summer the plant can be moved with care to a warm, lightly shaded spot. An acidic soil is a must for miracle fruit (pH 4.5 to 5.8). Allow the roots of the plant to fill the container before transplanting into a larger one. There is no need to prune the miracle fruit plant. Keep compost moist at all time, but do not overwater. The plants do not like to sit in wet soils. Reduce watering in winter. Misting is necessary. Propagation of miracle fruit is usually either by seed or cuttings. As the seed viability is short, plant the cleaned seed immediately just below the soil line. If you want to ship cleaned seed, package in a small plastic bag and enclose a slightly moistened toweling. Seed that are allowed to dry can be shipped for at least two weeks but rapidly loose their viability.

User-submitted additions and corrections:

JaniceL
21st Jul 2008
This really is amazing, I got some Miracle Fruit tabs and tried them with all sorts of sour foods (used this list: http://www.miraclefruitworld.com/recipes.html). Freaky!
Chanel N
United States
31st Mar 2009
Synsepalum dulcificum is a miracle fruit, of sorts. Right now, the FDA is looking into the benefits of synsepalum dulcificum, the "taste bud LSD," as the potential benefits of the drug are worth a cash advance or two to look into. The fruit has the potential to aid with the fight against diabetes and obesity, as it can be used to give people the sugar fix they need without the actual sugar being ingested. However, medical researchers have strenuously pointed out that no benefits can objectively come from synsepalum dulcificum until more thorough studies are done. Read more at http://personalmoneystore.com/moneyblog/2009/03/25/synsepalum-dulcificum-cancer-2/
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