Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Manchineel, Poison Guava, Poison Apple, Manzanillo
Hippomane mancinella

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hippomane (hip-oh-MAN-ee) (Info)
Species: mancinella (man-sin-EL-luh) (Info)

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


over 40 ft. (12 m)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)
Pale Green

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us


Other details:
This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Click thumbnail
to view:

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #1 of Hippomane mancinella by kennedyh

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #2 of Hippomane mancinella by kennedyh


1 positive
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Opus27no2 On Dec 21, 2014, Opus27no2 from Slaughter, LA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is the plant that made our friend want to be a horticulturist at age 8 when she watched the movie, "Winds Across the Everglades (1958)". In it there is a scene where a guy for punishment for a crime was not moved nor scared at many sentences, from being staked over an ant mound to being submerged somehow, until the threat of "Let's tie him to the Manchineel Tree". At the thought of that horror he became crazy with fear. The scene segued to a sequence showing him being dissolved by the tree's sap.

Neutral jmilletjr On Jan 1, 2012, jmilletjr from Pebble Creek, FL wrote:

I need to know what antidote is available for one that has tasted and eaten some of the fruit ASAP! I was hiking along the ocean in a park in Curacao and rested under the shade of some trees and eat some of the fruit. I had no idea what it was, but it tasted sweet not bitter. Nothing happened for at least 30-45 mins. After that, my mouth, tongue, lips and stomach were on fire. My throat became blistery and difficult to swallow. Dizzy, and feverish. i asked the park ranger what the fruit was and he told me that it was poison, yet NOBODY can tell me what I can do now that I have already ingested it and i am concerned.

Neutral jakenluigi On Aug 28, 2010, jakenluigi from Brooklyn, NY wrote:

Last week, while exploring the botanical gardens on grand cayman island, my boyfriend and i came upon this tree. On the trunk there was a sign with the name and a warning about the high toxicity of this tree...and as i stood under the tree in the rain reading on, the sign said: ...never stand under this tree in the rain...!!! The toxins can collect in the raindrops.

We jumped away, took a picture and continued on, joking about what would soon happen to us if we were poisoned. In about ten minutes, I began to really feel weird. There was a scratchiness in the center of my tongue as well as halfway down my throat and my breathing was a little difficult. I had the feeling i was floating and my body felt at least 10 feet hands became slightly numb and i could feel every single stone under my sneakers. Everything was sharp and clear...but i was really scared because i had never felt anything like this. I'm also not allergic to anything that i know of.

We started walking fast because I didn't know what would happen next and by the time we reached the info center the symptoms weren't getting any worse. They actually laughed with us about it and I decided I might as well enjoy myself. I was goofy for at least an hour more. I've read up on the symptoms of exposure to this tree...but have found nothing like this.


Negative MotherNature4 On Dec 27, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Though this tree is native to areas of the Florida Keys and southern Mangrove hammocks, it is not anything anyone would want to propagate. The toxins in every part of this plant are extremely dangerous. Skin contact can cause blistering and ulcers. Breathing aerosol produced by cutting or burning can cause severe respiratory distress. I could go on, but remember, CAUTION while in tropical coastal hammocks. Look for light green leaves that are finely serrated, but don't pick up even a dry one.


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

St John, Virgin Islands

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America