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

Category:

Trees

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Height:

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)

Spacing:

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade

Danger:

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Violet/Lavender

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Foliage:

Deciduous

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:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Regional

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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

1
positive
1
neutral
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

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

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.