Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Jamaican Dogwood, Fish-Poison Tree, Fish Fuddle Tree
Piscidia erythrina

Family: Papilionaceae (pa-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Piscidia (pis-SEE-duh) (Info)
Species: erythrina (er-ith-RY-nuh) (Info)

Synonym:Piscidia piscipula
Synonym:Erythrina piscipula
Synonym:Piscidia ichtyomethia

5 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)
30-40 ft. (9-12 m)
over 40 ft. (12 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive forager1 On Dec 8, 2003, forager1 from Lutz, FL wrote:

The sap and bruised bark from this tree helps relax smooth muscles in the body. Good for stomach cramps and menstrual cramps. My grandmother told me when I was first learning to forage that it also helps regulate menstrual flow in women. Why she would inform a young boy with this info was beyond me at the time, maybe she saw a doctor in me. Sadly, I've forgotten how to make the tonic. A crime unto myself and humanity.

Neutral Terry On Mar 4, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

A slow-growing hardwood tree, various parts of it (bark, branches, leaves) were used by native Carribean fishermen to poison or stupefy fish, making them easier to catch.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Big Pine Key, Florida
Homestead, Florida (2 reports)
Key Largo, Florida
Key West, Florida (2 reports)
Marathon, Florida
Miami, Florida
Summerland Key, Florida (2 reports)
Tavernier, Florida
Venice, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida

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