Hippomane mancinella

Poison apple

 

Can grow in extreme conditions

                                                                               

 

Manceniller, mansniyé, médsinyé, manchineel, mannjini, poison apple, médsynié modi, manzanillo, maximilien, …

 

Family

 

EUPHORBIACEAE

 

Origin

 

Tropical America

 

Description

  

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)

 

Propagation

Seeds

 

Culture and care
 

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

Use

 

Toxicity

 

 

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.

 

Etymology

 

 

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 

Ethnology

 

 

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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