Hippomane mancinella

Poison apple


Can grow in extreme conditions



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Tropical America




Integral component of the vegetation that fringes the sandy coastline, Manzanillo Tree is appreciated for the shade it provides along harsh and hot tropical beaches, this species is at the same time a dangerous one, due to the large quantities of caustic sap contained in its leaves, twigs, bark, and fruit.

Manzanillo trees are easily recognizable for their glossy, elliptical leaves possessing prominent yellow midribs. The omnipresent green globular fruits are a further aid in the identification of this important species.


Habitat / Habitat


Coast (altitude 0-80m)





Culture and care

Manzanillo is one of the few plant species that is able to survive the harsh conditions typical of the beachside environment. 






It is one of the most toxic trees in the world, In case of rain, it is advisable not to shelter under the tree, because the water flowing from the leaves becomes of an impressive acidity.


- Ornemental use 



Very nice tree. Can be planted as a single plant or in a rocky massif.





Hippomane comes from greek and means « Horse-madness » (ippo-mania), or, Theophrastus’ name, « ippo-manhj », for a spurge causing horses to become frenzied.
Mancinella comes from Spanish, manzana, manzanilla, for the bitter apple-like fruit of Hippomane mancinella 




It has been used since colonial times for making fine furniture, but that it must be worked with caution - owing to the poisonous sap which was used by Karib Indians for coating arrows with, like Hura crepitans.


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