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Discussion in 'Plants: In the News' started by Junglekeeper, Jan 10, 2016.
This tree in the Americas is so toxic, you can’t stand under it when it rains
Thanks, Junglekeeper. It's in the Euphorbiaceae family, not the Euphorbia genus as written in the article. Still, it's really surprising to me that it's in that family.
A good reminder. I would definitely have touched the fruits and leaves if I'd seen it, though a webpage I read described a mother and daughter who had no effects until they took a small bite of the fruit. A guy in Honolulu stopped me from touching a plant (not the same plant as this) in his garden, saying it had milky sap that would irritate my skin, and my eyes, if I touched them, as his spouse did, so I was able to later ID it for him by looking up Euphorbiaceae.
Maybe 40 years ago, I walked under one during a light rain. US Virgin Islands, St Thomas. It was on the roadside in a heavily forested slope. I did not do it deliberately, but thought I recognized the leaves and tree from research as I passed. Either I didn't get any sap on me, or the rain drops didn't acquire any phorbol before hitting me. I was aware of the possibility of encountering manchineel before visiting the island. Later I asked at the hotel, and of course they strongly recommended in that affable island way that this was why I needed to take cabs or shuttles everywhere. As might be expected, they were more concerned about a negative reaction from me and didn't consider that I would be fascinated in the tree and local folklore. Also ran into a native datura in a nerdo-comical episode on Antigua. I love finding flora and fauna that I've read about but never seen before.