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Metopium toxiferum

Metopium toxiferum (L.) Krug & Urb.

Amyris toxifera L.

Poisonwood, Florida Poisontree, Hog Gum

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderSapindalesIncludes citrus; maples, horse-chestnuts, lychees and rambutans; mangos and cashews; frankincense and myrrh; mahogany and neem
FamilyAnacardiaceaeCashew or sumac family
GenusMetopiumNew Latin, from Metopium, genus of trees including the black poison; from Latin, juice from a species of Ferula; from Greek metōpion, diminutive of metōpon, a species of Ferula; probably from metōpon, “forehead”
SpeciestoxiferumPresumably “toxic,” but I cannot find a reference

About plant names...

Poisonwood is native to the Caribbean region, including southern Florida, in shrublands and pine woodlands. It is related to poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac, and produces the same irritant, urushiol, which causes a maddening itchy, blistering rash.

Plants: Poisonwood ranges from a low shrub to a tree up to 49' (15 m) high and 16" (40 cm) in diameter. Bark is orange and brown, peeling in irregular plates.

Leaves: Leathery, alternate, odd pinnate in groups of 5-7, clustering at the tips of branches. Each leaf is ovate, up to 6-10" (15-25 cm) long × 2-3" (5-7.6 cm) wide, its margins slightly thickened. Spots of black resin appear irregularly. Leaf stems are smooth or with fine hairs, and swollen at the base.

Flowers: Flowers are in panicles.

Fruits: Berries (drupes) become orange-yellow when they ripen. Berries are roughly oval, about ⅜" (1 cm) in length.

Edibility: Poisonous Skull & Crossbones. Skin contact with any part of the tree produces severe irritation like that of poison ivy. Eating any part, or contact with smoke produced from its burning, is extremely dangerous. (Technically, not everyone is allergic.) Many birds and other animals can consume parts of the plant with no ill effects.

Online References:

Metopium toxiferum on florida.plantatlas.usf.edu

Metopium toxiferum at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Metopium toxiferum on www.levypreserve.org

Metopium toxiferum on Discover Life

Metopium toxiferum on florida.plantatlas.usf.edu

Metopium toxiferum (Poisonwood, Florida Poisontree, Hog Gum)

4/14/2015 · Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park, Key Largo, FL
≈ 15 × 10" (37 × 25 cm)

Metopium toxiferum (Poisonwood, Florida Poisontree, Hog Gum)

4/14/2015 · Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park, Key Largo, FL
≈ 24 × 16" (59 × 39 cm)

Metopium toxiferum (Poisonwood, Florida Poisontree, Hog Gum)

4/14/2015 · Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park, Key Largo, FL
≈ 16 × 24" (39 × 59 cm)

Metopium toxiferum description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 21 Jun 2017.

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Metopium toxiferum (Poisonwood, Florida Poisontree, Hog Gum)

4/14/2015 · Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park, Key Largo, FL
≈ 21 × 31" (53 × 79 cm)

Metopium toxiferum (Poisonwood, Florida Poisontree, Hog Gum)

4/13/2015 · Mahogany Hammock Trail, Everglades National Park, FL

Metopium toxiferum (Poisonwood, Florida Poisontree, Hog Gum)

4/14/2015 · Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park, Key Largo, FL
≈ 31 × 21" (79 × 53 cm)

Metopium toxiferum (Poisonwood, Florida Poisontree, Hog Gum)

4/13/2015 · Mahogany Hammock Trail, Everglades National Park, FL
≈ 31 × 47" (79 × 119 cm)

Metopium toxiferum (Poisonwood, Florida Poisontree, Hog Gum)

4/14/2015 · Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park, Key Largo, FL
≈ 31 × 21" (79 × 53 cm)

Range:

About this map...