En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - January 15, 2013

From: New York, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Edible Plants
Title: Red berry that changes the taste of other foods
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, your site is fantastic. I heard from a friend that he tried a red berry in Florida which when eaten change the taste of other foods eaten afterwards. He ate a lemon after trying that berry and the lemon tasted sweet. Thank you in advance for the answer

ANSWER:

When I read your question I thought to myself "That's going to be a tough one!"   As it turns out, my very first Google search ("red berry changes taste") brought up this article from the NY Times, May 28, 2008, The Miracle Fruit, a Tease for the Taste Buds.  The article describes the effects of eating a West African fruit, Synsepalum dulcificum.  There are several common names, e.g., Miracle Fruit and Miracle Berry, and there is a Florida company that is promoting and selling the fruit and products made from it as Dulci Berry.  Apparently, the fruit itself doesn't have a particularly appealing taste, but it contains a protein called miraculin that binds to the tongue and makes sour substances taste sweet.  You can read more about the effect in Miracle Fruit Sensation Is a Trip for Taste Buds, Not Brain, Scientists Say from the April 1, 2009 Cornell Daily Sun.  You can also find more sources of information on the internet by searching using its scientific name or one of its common names.

 

More Edible Plants Questions

Medicinal qualities of Monarda clinopodioides
June 19, 2007 - Monarda clinopodioides Gray basil beebalm Could you tell me if the above-mentioned plant is edible or has any medicinal use?
view the full question and answer

Growing Chile Pequin Indoors
December 09, 2015 - About a year ago I visited your page and as a result I planted 8 seeds in spring 2015 from a large Chile Pequin plant that came up wild in my Cedar Park home near Austin. The last harvest was late su...
view the full question and answer

Edible plants beginning with I, T, X and Z in Colorado
March 26, 2009 - My friend would like to know a fruit or vegetable that he would plant in his garden and come back yearly. The plants would have to start with the letters I,T,X, & Z. It has to be edible, of course.
view the full question and answer

Looking for a List of Edible Wild Plants for Ohio
September 06, 2013 - What are some edible wild plants in Ohio?
view the full question and answer

What is a groundnut? from River Vale NJ
July 11, 2009 - I just read the book "Mayflower" which talks about the Massachusetts natives and, subsequently, the Pilgrims eating groundnuts; mentions the groundnuts going to seed in early summer. What are ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center