Sugar Plant...

Edward K. Gilding egilding at
Sun Oct 8 01:10:13 EST 1995

In article <atahualpa-0710952147490001 at>, 
atahualpa at says...
>This past summer I went on a tour of the Crystal Bridge Conservatory 
>in Oklahoma City and I was introduced to a very interesting plant.  It 
>a large bush/tree with cherry sized black berries and white flesh.  The
>guide plucked a few off for us to try and told us that they were very 
>in sugar content and if you ate three or four then whatever you ate for
>the next hour would be affected by the sugar and taste sweet.  I only 
>one, so I didn't notice this effect, but they were delicious berries.  
>The guide also told us that some private investors had attempted to 
>this as a sugar substitute for diabetics but their efforts were 
>by the sugar industry.  How sad.  Anyway, if anyone has any idea as to
>what this plant is, let me know.  Even better, let me know where to get
>the plant or seeds.  The guide wasn't sure because there was some kind 
>discrepancy in the placard labeling the plant.

The plant you're describing sounds like "Miracle Fruit".  A bushy/tree 
like plant that has ovoid shaped berries, reddish or purplish in color 
with one large seed.  Flowers ar small creamy colored with russet haired 
sepals.  It was found in tropical Africa and brought into cultivation by 
David Fairchild in 1919 when he tasted it for the first time and didn't 
think much about them but when he noticed the effect he sent seeds back 
to the US.

The fruit numbs or "masks" to sour taste-buds so it leaves you to taste 
only sweet things.  Its called Synsepalum dulcificum.  Full size 15 ft.
I dont have any specific cultivation information as it is rather rare 
here too (Hawaii).  I see it for sale on certain occaisions but never 
bother to plant one because I dont have room for some big bush.  I'd like 
to try a berry first.

You could obtain seeds from:

The Banana Tree, Inc.
715 Northampton St.
Easton, PA  18042

seeds are sold one per a packet.  I say get at least two because they 
might need to pollenate each other.

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