Plant Listings

Barringtonia asiatica

Barringtonia asiatica (L.) Kurz.

Common names:
  Fish Poison Tree, Sea Poison Tree, Box Fruit

Family:
Lecythidaceae

Habit:
 Barringtonia asiatica grows as a tree up to 25 m in height.  The sessile leaves are arranged alternately, obovate to oblong, up to 30 cm in length, with an entire margin and obtuse leaf apex.  The abaxial surface has pellucid dots/glands. The leaves release a pleasant odor when crushed.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers occur in terminal racemes. The calyx is a single unit that splits into 2-3 lobes upon the flower opening.  The corolla has 4 white petals.  There are numerous stamens with pinkish filaments.  The carpel has an inferior ovary with 4 locules and multiple ovules.  The fruit is a triangular/pyramidal fibrous “berry”.

Habitat:
 Barringtonia asiatica occurs in Human Altered environments (yard, gardens, and farms).

Distribution:
 Barringtonia asiatica is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago and does not grow in natural areas. It has been observed on Eleuthera and Andros. It is native to southeast Asia, the south Pacific, the Indian subcontinent, Madagascar and parts of southeastern Africa.

Cultural/Economic/Medicinal usage
: Barringtonia asiatica is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.

All parts of Barringtonia asiatica have Saponin in them and are considered extremely poisonous.

www.bnt.bs