Monday, September 2, 2013

Simpson Stoppers: an overlooked edible

I don't care what anyone says about this plant or its mom. It's delicious.

Much like the coco plum, Surinam cherries, silverthorns and natal plums, the Simpson stopper is a plant with delicious edible fruit that has somehow been relegated to the "generic hedge plant" category.

This is crazy. It's native, it's tasty, it's a handsome plant and it's easy to grow.

I was shopping at Taylor Gardens Nursery some time last year and saw a big Simpson stopper in full fruit. I picked a handful as I was talking to Dave Taylor, the owner. He eyed me incredulously as I popped the fruit into my mouth.

"Now you're gonna die," he told me.

"No, I'm not. These are edible. They're delicious!"

"Nope. You're gonna die. And I'm gonna have to tell your wife."

Dave then ran me through with an African spear. As the berries fell from my now-limp hand and my eyesight dimmed, I could hear his gravelly laugh as he carefully cleaned off the gory spear.

"Simpson stoppers don't kill people. I kill people!"

Actually, Dave didn't kill me. I'm sure he's thought about it, but it hasn't happened yet. I buy too many plants for him to do me in.

Where was I? Oh yeah. Got it.

Simpson stoppers are at their very best when fully ripe. As I've mentioned before, they have a nice sweet taste on the front end, followed by a slight bitter grapefruit aftertaste. Really nice. And as we now know, babies love them.

If you have space, pop this plant into your yard. Or pop three into your yard like I did. I'm very happy to have such an attractive edible hanging out in my food forest. Because no one knows they're edible, I get to introduce visitors to the fruit every summer.

That's it for today. Gotta go disinfect this old spear wound before gangrene sets in. I wonder if Simpson stoppers are antibacterial?

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At September 2, 2013 at 7:57 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

I have 3 of them in my yard.I didn't know the berries were edible.But the birds strip them clean,first,anyways.

At September 2, 2013 at 10:33 AM , Blogger Arisia said...

Is this a trend? Cuz I like it. Gardening horror stories. You need to plant a zombie or two in your food forest.

At December 29, 2013 at 8:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anybody know of a place to buy these seeds? I couldn't come up with anything on Google or eBay. Thanks!


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