An important warning

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#1
12,933 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Once in a while I try to post this for anyone who isn't aware of the poisonous trees that grow on the beaches of the Caribbean islands.
It's better to be safe than sorry, and I feel that it's an important thing to know.

Many years ago, one of my shipmates sat under this tree during a rain shower, on a beach at Tortola, and her skin became very blistered from the runoff.
Here is the warning again for those who haven't heard about the Machineel trees.


One particular toxic plant worth mentioning is the manchineel tree, Hippomane mancinella, also known as the beach apple or death apple. This tree grows on the shores of islands and coastlines of the Caribbean Sea. A large deciduous tree that has a small green apple-like fruit, it is considered to be one of the most poisonous plants on earth. Given this distinction, it is a tree worth being able to recognize when traveling in this part of the world. Do not sit under it, even during a rain storm, as the droplets of water falling off it contain enough toxic latex to cause a severe contact dermatitis. For the same reason do not touch the leaves, the bark, or burn the wood. The apple-like fruit of the tree contains a potentially deadly poison. The two adventurers mentioned in the preceding paragraph might well have expired from their experimental taste-test.
This tree contains tigliane phorbol esters. Skin contact can cause blistering, burns, erythema, swelling, and inflammation. If ingested, it will cause burning and swelling of the oral mucosa, esophageal ulcerations, edema, and cervical lymphadenopathy, making it impossible to swallow, difficult to talk, and hard to breathe.

Treatment consists of cleansing the skin with soap and water to remove the plant latex, being careful to avoid further exposure and using antihistamines to minimize the immune response and the edema.
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#4
Richardson, Texas
2,529 Posts
Joined May 2006
Thanks for the information, I had no idea that this tree existed or that it could do so much damage.
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#5
columbus, ohio
177 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
OMG I will look out for this next week!!
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#6
5,242 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Thanks for sharing.
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#7
Rhode Island
5,801 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
There is one of these trees at Trunk Bay beach on St. John. It was all the way to the left on the beach, facing the water. There was a sign posted just beneath the tree that explained to stay away from it! I wish I'd taken a photo of the tree/sign. I'd never heard of it before...we stayed away from it for sure!
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#8
12,933 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
You're all very welcome. I've been to 29 of the islands, and many of them have these trees. Most don't have signs posted.
I have posted this thread on 6 different boards (RCCL, HAL, NCL, Princess, Celebrity, Disney, Carnival, & Crystal) but it looks like some of them have been pulled or moved, so please pass the word being some pax don't go to the Ports Board at all.
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#9
South Carolina
26,059 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
Originally posted by alphakitty
There is one of these trees at Trunk Bay beach on St. John. It was all the way to the left on the beach, facing the water. There was a sign posted just beneath the tree that explained to stay away from it! I wish I'd taken a photo of the tree/sign. I'd never heard of it before...we stayed away from it for sure!
We saw that same tree! It wasn't even raining BUT we stayed FAR away from it!

sea-cruise! Thank you for this WARNING!
#12
Barbados
26,596 Posts
Joined May 2007
The correct spelling is MANCHINEEL...
Grows on the West(leeward) Coast only(in Barbados!)
You won't see them on Barbados' South or East coasts, for some strange reason..

Many hotels post warning labels on the trees.
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#13
Ottawa, On, Cda./Naples, Fl. USA
6,086 Posts
Joined May 2004
Thanks for the warning.
Kathy
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