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Seashore and Beach Plants

Cerbera manghas Sea mango mangga laut Apocynaceae

 

mangga laut, sea mango, Cerbera manghas

 

Cerbera manghas

mangga laut, sea mango, Cerbera manghas

manghas (Sea Mango) is a small evergreen coastal tree growing up 12 m tall. The shiny dark-green leaves are alternate, ovoid in shape. The flowers are fragrant, possessing a white tubular 5 lobed corolla about 3 to 5 cm in diameter, with a pink to red throat. They have 5 stamens and the ovary is positioned above the other flower parts. The fruits are egg-shaped, 5 to 10 cm long, and turn bright red at maturity.
Cerbera manghas is naturally distributed from the Seychelle Islands in the Indian Ocean eastward to French Polynesia. It occupies coastal habitats and is often associated with mangrove forests.
This tree has been introduced to Hawaii and other tropical locations as an ornamental.
Poison The leaves and the fruits contain the potent cardiac glycoside cerberin, which is extremely poisonous if ingested. People in olden times used the sap of the tree as a poison for animal hunting. The fruit was reportedly eaten to commit suicide in the Marquesas Islands.
Mythology : Because of its deadly poisonous seeds, the genus name is coming from Cerberus, the hell dog from the Greek mythology, hence indicating the toxicity of the seeds. In Madagascar, the seeds were used in sentence rituals to poison kings and queens.

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