En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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 Non-Natives Questions

Dying foliage on non-native Otto Luyken Laurel from Georgetown KY
April 09, 2014 - I have 5 luken laurel scrubs planted around foundation. They have done very well until this last winter..the foilage is now brown and crispy. Will they come back? Do I need to prune back the damage...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Bird of Paradise plant (Strelitzia reginae)
November 30, 2008 - I have two Bird of Paradise plants on my lanai (Marion County, FL) and they are both in large pots. Nobody but me seems to like them at my house and I have been asked if I could trim all the leaves o...
view the full question and answer

Distribution of Non-Native Royal Empress Tree
August 23, 2007 - I was wondering if you could give me the statistics for the Royal Empress Tree in the Long Island area. I have two and have read numerous articles online regarding them being invasive through the root...
view the full question and answer

Availability of non-native Elijah blue fescue
June 01, 2007 - I'm looking for Elijah blue fescue. Do you sell?
view the full question and answer

Slow growing, non-native Viburnum sandanqua in Deland FL
April 05, 2010 - Hi. I live in central FL, and planted sandankwa viburnum as a hedge 3 years ago. I was told they would grow quickly, but they are growing very slowly, although they look healthy with deep green leaves...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center