Meet the Manchineel Tree found throughout the Florida Everglades, Central America and the Caribbean that manchineel is one of the most poisonous trees in the world. Manchineel is also known as the beach apple.
The name “manchineel” as well as the specific epithet mancinella is from Spanish manzanilla (“little apple”), from the superficial resemblance of its fruit and leaves to those of an apple tree. A present-day Spanish name is in fact manzanilla de la muerte, “little apple of death”.
The Carib natives were said to use the sap on their arrow heads, poison the wells of their enemies with the leaves and even tie some unfortunate victims to the trunk of the tree.
Evergreen manchineel tree, grows up to 15 metres (49 ft) tall. It has a reddish-greyish bark, greeny-yellow small flowers, which are similar in appearance to an apple, are green or greenish-yellow when ripe and shiny green leaves. The fruit is poisonous.
Every part of this tree is stuffed with powerful toxins. Bearing fruits called ‘little apples of death’, the fruit is said to be potentially lethal if consumed.
Standing beneath the tree during rain will cause blistering of the skin from mere contact with this liquid (even a small drop of rain with the milky substance in it will cause the skin to blister). The sap has also been known to damage the paint on cars.
Not only that, the tree may cause ocular injuries if the smoke from burning the wood of this tree can cause blindness.
The Manchineel tree now and then becomes close to the beach and the tourists chilling on the warm beaches of the Caribbean often encounter its poisonous boughs and no prizes for speculating, the outcomes aren’t exceptionally attractive.