Hazard Information

Route: Skin/Ingestion     Plant Part: All

Scale: High

Skin can blister on contact with tree's milky secretion. Blindness can occur if tree is burnt and smoke reaches the eyes.

Fruit fatal if eaten.






Common Name(s)



Latin Name

Hippomane mancinella




Greyish bark, shiny green leaves and spikes of small greenish flowers. Its fruits, which are similar in appearance to an apple, are green or greenish-yellow when ripe.

The manchineel tree can be found near to (and on) coastal beaches. It provides excellent natural windbreaks and its roots stabilize the sand, thus helping to prevent beach erosion.



Manchineel is one of the most poisonous trees in the world.

The tree and its parts contain strong toxins. It will secrete a white milky substance during rainfall.



Allegedly, standing beneath the tree during rain may cause blistering of the skin from mere contact with this liquid. Burning the tree may cause blindness if the smoke reaches the eyes. The fruit can also be fatal if eaten.


Flowering Period



Coastal beaches.  Native to Florida in the United States, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Central America, and northern South America. Tropical garden centres.