Bakeriella dulcifica (Schumach. & Thonn.) Dubard
Bumelia dulcifica Schumach. & Thonn.
Pouteria dulcifica (Schumach. & Thonn.) Baehni
Richardella dulcifica (Schumach. & Thonn.) Baehni
Sideroxylon dulcificum (Schumach. & Thonn.) A.DC.
Common Name: Miracle Berry
Miracle berry is an evergreen shrub growing 4 - 6 metres tall.
Its fruit is gathered from the wild and utilised locally for its ability to modify the body's perception of sour flavours, making them seem sweet. This ability has seen an increased level of interest in the plant outside its native area and the fruit is now exported to many other countries. The plant is occasionally cultivated in west Africa and there are experimental plantations in tropical America[
Western and Central Tropical Africa.
Fringing forest, preferring damp localities[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
A plant of the hot, wet, tropical lowlands[
]. Plants are intolerant of frost[
Prefers a humus-rich acid soil[
]. Grows well in light shade[
Seedling plants can commence fruiting when about 4 - 5 years old[
Plants can flower several times a year[
Fruit - raw[
]. The thin-skinned fruit has a sweet, fleshy pulp[
]. The ripe fruit, although not itself that sweet to taste, has the ability to modify the taste receptors in the mouth, causing foods to taste sweeter[
]. The effect lasts for up to an hour after consuming the fruit and will, for example, make lemons, vinegar and other acid foods taste sweet. Sweet foods, such as ice cream, will taste cloyingly sweet[
]. The oblong fruit is about 20mm x 10mm[
The berries contain miraculin which is the active principle that makes bitter, sour and salty food taste sweet by affecting the taste-buds[
]. In this manner used for 'sweetening' palm wine, sour fruits and other drinks or food. Additionally a glucoprotein is present that depresses the appetite[
The twigs are used as chew sticks to clean the teeth[
The wood is used for fuel[
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.