Manchineel Tree – The Many Ways This Tree Can End Your Life

An explanation as to why a Manchineel tree can be the Earth’s most dangerous tree.

Did you know that a certain tree is feared for being the most dangerous tree? These are the ways a Manchineel tree can end a person’s life.

When we think of trees, what are the things that come to our minds?

Probably, it’s lush, green, shade, cool, and strong. But the importance and value of trees are far more essential that these factors. First and foremost, trees give us food and oxygen. It basically keeps us alive.

The most expensive tree is poached in the Philippines and it is called agarwood which costs Php 750,000.00 per kilogram. Most trees function this way but have you heard that can kill us? Have you known one that ends a person’s life? Believe it or not, there is and it is called Manchineel Tree.

Manchineel Tree
Photo from The Tree Care Guide

What is this tropical tree?

It has an apple-like fruit but be careful, as this is considered the deadliest tree in the world. Literally every part of it is toxic. How toxic? By merely standing beside it or under its shade can already symptoms you don’t expect.

The leaves are shiny in medium size. The fruits smell sweet but their looks can be deceiving. It has been reported that Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon died from a shot with a tip poisoned from this tree.

This tree has a scientific name, Hippomane mancinella, which means “horse madness”. Its name means  “little apple” but some are calling this “little apple of death” or “beach apple”.

Here are some more descriptions of this tree:

  • Leaves are oval, glossy, and leathery with tiny teeth on the edges.
  • Flowers are yellow and tiny that grow on spikes on the ends of the branches.
  • The fruits can come in colors yellow or green that look like small apples.
  • It has a reddish or gray bark that has cracks or furrows. 

How dangerous is this tree?

  1. It’s smoke when you burn it is toxic.
  2. Its poison is water-soluble so avoid standing near or under it when raining.
  3. Don’t stand near this tree as inhaling its toxic can be really dangerous.

The severity of the symptoms depends on how much you were exposed to the toxin. Some of them are blistering and swelling of the mouth and throat, cardiovascular symptoms such as slowed heartbeat and low blood pressure, pain, vomiting, abdominal bleeding, and dehydration.

What can you say about this? Let us know!

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