Barringtonia Species, Sea Poison Tree

Barringtonia asiatica

Family: Lecythidaceae
Genus: Barringtonia (bar-ring-TOH-nee-uh) (Info)
Species: asiatica (a-see-AT-ee-kuh) (Info)
Synonym:Barringtonia butonica
Synonym:Barringtonia senequei
Synonym:Barringtonia speciosa



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:



over 40 ft. (12 m)


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink

Pale Yellow

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Lake Worth, Florida

Miami, Florida

Palm Beach, Florida

Kahului, Hawaii

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 3, 2021, Chinandega81 from Miami, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

Very slow-growing in Miami...but it has attractive leaves. It's a manageable tree in our climate zone and does well in our sandy soils when kept moist and fertilized...but it hates the cold and will resent being in an area exposed to cold winter winds.


On Dec 1, 2018, Kell from (Zone 9b) wrote:

Per Irene Ngoo at Min's Garden @tropicaljungle in Singapore:
"Barringtonia asiatica, also commonly known as fish poison tree or sea poison tree, is a species of Barringtonia native to mangrove habitats on the tropical coasts and islands of the Indian Ocean and western Pacific Ocean to French Polynesia. It is a common plant in the Malaysian Mangroves and wetlands such as the Kuching wetlands and Bako National Park. The seed pod is known as Box Fruit due its distinct box shape. The fruit is dispersed in the same way as a coconut by ocean current and is extremely water-resistant and buoyant. It can survive afloat for up to 15 years. Its large pinkish-white, pompon flowers give off a sickly sweet smell to attract bats and moths which pollinate the flowers at night. All parts of the ... read more


On Aug 27, 2018, Anton15 from Hong Kong,
Hong Kong wrote:

This tree is extremely attractive so are the flowers which are strewn every morning like a magic carpet across the ground (sand) but. However for me the biggest plus is the heavenly evening scent it produces from those nocturnal flowers which almost defines some of our worlds most gorgeous coastal areas. It's the sweet smell of long, salty, warm evenings listening to the waves. Definitely one to try even inland as long as you dont have much altitude. Mixing dolomite into the ground helps keep up the PH as they prefer alkaline conditions and sandy soils. They are particularly attractive as saplings producing huge glass shiny dark green leaves, the new ones a deep glistening oiled purple maroon on a very upright sturdy single trunk. Quite magnificent and eye catching. Pure unbridled, fecund ... read more


On Aug 18, 2009, BMRP77 from Lipa City,
Philippines wrote:

In my experience, this plant can also be propagated by cuttings. You just cut at least twelve inches below a growing branch, making sure there are nodes that will be buried below the surface, from which new roots can emerge.