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Manchineel Tree Uses & What If It Is Poisonous

Under the lush green foliage, artistic barks, and sweet aroma, the Manchineel Tree hides toxic traits that challenge people to find uses beyond toxicity.

Generally, all parts of the Manchineel tree like leaves, flowers, fruits, and sap are poisonous but the tree also has historical, aesthetic, and ecological significance. Some uses include furniture, medicine, wildlife support, coastal protection, etc. 

Manchineel Tree is native to the tropical regions of America and grows on the coast near mangroves and beaches with sandy soil.

Go through this full article to know everything about the poisonous Manchineel with its potential uses.

What Does Manchineel Tree Look Like?

Manchineel tree is a beautiful plant that can grow up to 50 feet tall. You can also see the shrubby version in some trees.

The leaves of this tree can grow up to 2-4 inches long with shiny dark green surface, oval shape, and smooth edges arranged alternately on the stem.

Manchineel Tree
Manchineel Tree fruit looks like an apple in green and greenish-yellow when ripe.

On the end of the branches, you can see the eye-catching blossoms that heavily flower during April. However, you can see the tree flowering throughout the year.

After the blossoms fade, they turn into small, round, and greenish fruits. These fruits give orange hues and can grow about 2 inches big.

Additionally, the bark of the tree is often cracked or furrowed with a dark brown color, giving the tree a visually appealing display.

Can Manchineel Tree Kill You?

Despite the sweet fragrance, the Manchineel tree is highly toxic to humans and mammals.

All parts of the Manchineel tree like leaves, flowers, fruits, and sap are poisonous as they contain harmful compounds like phorbol esters and curcins that can even kill you.

The milky sap causes irritation, burns, and allergic reactions to your skin. Moreover, a small part of the fruit can cause mouth and throat injuries.

Sometimes after consuming Manchineel fruit, you may suffer from dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, and even death. The same symptoms can appear on your pets if they mistakenly consume any parts of this toxic tree.

Not only this, but if you burn the wood of this tree, the smoke can highly irritate your eyes, skin, and respiratory system.

Thus, it’s better to stay away from this dangerous tree. In case of accidental consumption of any parts of this plant by your pets contact:

Manchineel Tree Uses

Surprisingly, the Manchineel tree has many uses despite of too many toxic traits. This beautiful plant boasts several historical, aesthetic, and ecological significance.

  • Wood from the Manchineel tree can be useful for creating beautiful furniture and showpieces to enhance your indoor aesthetics.
  • Parts of the Manchineel plant are beneficial as a traditional medicine to treat health problems like edema, skin conditions, and sexually transmitted diseases.
  • The deep root system of this tree can protect the sandy surface of tropical regions and beaches from erosion and landslides.
  • Although the Manchineel tree deters most animals, this tree provides shelter and food to some animals like the Garrobo iguana.
  • You can use the sap of this tree as a pesticide to deter harmful pests and pathogens.

From Editorial Team

More Information!

Although there are some traditional health benefits, all parts of the Manchineel tree are highly toxic. So, it’s not a good idea to try any of the parts as medicine.

Moreover, never use the wood of this tree to make furniture as the experts always neutralize the toxicity of sap using different methods.

Contact your doctor or health care professionals if any problem arises after dealing with Manchineel tree.

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