Drawing: Cobra helicopter Drawing: Cobra helicopter

Image: Lantana

Lantana camara
Vervain (Verbenaceae) Family
Drawing: Skull and Crossbone

Description: Lantana is a shrub like plant that may grow up to 45 centimeters high. It has opposite, round leaves and flowers borne in flat-topped clusters. The flower color (which varies in different areas) may be white, yellow, orange, pink, or red. It has a dark blue or black berrylike fruit. A distinctive feature of all parts of this plant is its strong scent.


All parts of this plant are poisonous if eaten and can be fatal. This plant causes dermatitis in some individuals.

Habitat and Distribution: Lantana is grown as an ornamental in tropical and temperate areas and has escaped cultivation as a weed along roads and old fields.

Image: Manchineel

Hippomane mancinella
Spurge (Euphorbiaceae) Family
Drawing: Skull and Crossbone

Description: Manchineel is a tree reaching up to 15 meters high with alternate, shiny green leaves and spikes of small greenish flowers. Its fruits are green or greenish-yellow when ripe.

This tree is extremely toxic. It causes severe dermatitis in most individuals after only .5 hour. Even water dripping from the leaves may cause dermatitis. The smoke from burning it irritates the eyes. No part of this plant should be considered a food.

Habitat and Distribution: The tree prefers coastal regions. Found in south Florida, the Caribbean, Central America, and northern South America.

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Updated: 26 February 2011
Born on 14 January 2000