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The Tree of Death Apples

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இது ஒரு இருமொழி பதிவு இதனை தமிழில் படிக்க இங்கே கிளிக் செய்யவும்.

The world is a mysterious place with a lot of unknown things. This series is to undiscover some of such unknown and wierd plants. This time let us shine some light on ‘The World’s Deadliest Tree – Manchineel’

The Manchineel is one of the most toxic tree in the world(the most dangerous tree as of Guinness World records). Its leaves are so poisonous that if you stand under it during rain, your skin will blister because the raindrops become toxic from contact with the leaves and its sap.

Image by : Hans Hillewaert

Leaves and Sap:

Apprently the sap was used to make poisoned arrows and the leaves were used to poison enemy water sources during battles.

The sap is so potent it can supposedly eat the paint off a car. The plant contains numerous exotic toxins, some of which cannot be identified.

Some sources warn against even breathing around a Manchineel tree. They post warning signs on the trees where they grow in Southern parts of Northern America and Northern parts of Southern America.

Danger in Paradise
Image by: aamster2

Fruits:

Even the fruits are poisonous. Bust these are so deceptive as not to warn the critters who wish to eat them. At first, the taste is said to be pleasantly sweet, then peppery. Then the burning sets in, and your airway closes up.

Eating the fruit can cause gastroenteritis with bleeding, shock, bacterial superinfection, and edema that shuts down the respiratory system. This is why it is named Manchineel which means the little apples of death.

Endangered:

Not surprisingly, the Manchineel is endangered. Just imagine how can one destroy them? You can’t just burn one if you find one. Even the smoke of this tree is poisonous on contact. (But we can destroy anything can’t we?)

Who would want such an abomination around? you would think, but in Nature everything has its own place to maintain the balance. Even this killer tree has some unique qualities. – read below.

Image by : Dick Culbert

Uses:

  • Despite being vicious creatures, the tree has been used as a source of timber by Caribbean carpenters for centuries. It must be cut and left to dry in the sun to remove the sap.
  • A gum can be produced from the bark which reportedly treats edema.(Remember the edema its fruit used to produce? quite ironic right!)
  • The dried fruits have been used as a diuretic.
  • The manchineel tree can be found on coastal beaches and in brackish swamps where it grows among mangroves. It provides excellent natural windbreaks and its roots stabilize the sand, thus helping to prevent beach erosion.

(Huh! Now that is one useful killer. Isn’t it? Just kidding. – Hehe!)

Wierd fact:

This strange tree houses yet another weird fact about it.

The plant is toxic to many birds and other animals, yet the black-spined iguana (Ctenosaura similis) is known to eat the fruit and even live among the limbs of the tree.

Source: Manchineel – Wikipedia

Having too much of weirdness and oddness, the Manchineel tree sure is interesting to know. Isn’t it? I hope you liked this post. Let us meet again in yet another weird or awesome plant in the #Know_a_plant_series. If you enjoyed this post share it and impress others!

Let us all plant and grow together! Thank you!

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