The Tree of Death, The Most Dangerous Tree in the Planet

Hippomane Mancinella is its scientific name but it is better known as ‘The tree of death’ or ‘The chamomile of death’, this tree enjoys the privilege of being registered in the Guinness Records.

This tree grows in coastal regions, on sandy soils of high saline concentration. It extends from Florida to Colombia and abounds in several islands of the Caribbean Sea, including the island of Margarita in Venezuela.

The chamomile of death is a tree that can reach 20 m in height if its shaft grows straight, but its coastal distribution is not unusual to collapse during its growth, adopting an almost creepy and extremely tortuous.

The trunk and the numerous branches are covered with thick, broken bark, gray in color. The cup is broad and globose.

According to experts, his name is derived as follows: Hippomane comes from the Greek words hippo, which means horse, and mane of mania or madness.

Named after the Greek philosopher Theophrastus (371a.C.-287a.C.) after seeing that the horses went crazy after eating the fruit of this tree.

Carl Linnaeus, the father of modern taxonomy, also named the tree in America. Its fruit is similar to the apple and has a pleasant aroma, which easily deceives but is deadly for humans and mammals while some reptiles fed on their fruits and lived, as well that its consumption is prohibited if you don’t want to suffer severe diarrhea and extreme vomiting that end up causing your death.

Burning, rashes, blisters and inflammation in the skin are the consequences that can suffer people who simply rub this noxious tree. It is advisable not to be present if one of these trees gets burned because the smoke that it would give off could cause respiratory problems and for the worst case, temporary blindness.

At some time, the tree of death was used by the natives for the hunt, with the sap covering their arrows and then hunting. In addition, in colonial times it was used to create innumerable furniture.


Due to the serious consequences that this brings to humans, most have been cut and now this tree is in danger of extinction. If one day you come to meet one, you don’t need to hurt him, just don’t approach it and for nothing in the world, DON’T consume its fruits. Spread the word about this information with your friends, who knows, you may save someone’s life.

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