A European explorer, the Chevalier des Marchais, first provided an account of the use of miracle berry plants on the territories of West Africa as early as 1725. This small tree comes from a humid tropical climate and does not tolerate cold.
Synsepalum dulcificum (same as Pouteria dulcifica) is an evergreen shrub from tropical West Africa and a part of the Sapotaceae family. S. dulcificum can grow up to 10-20 ft (3-6 m) with evergreen, dark green, and large oval leaves arranged into a spiral. It is often called a miracle berry tree because its small fruit contains miraculin, a sweetness-inducing protein.