Fish Poison Tree

Common Name: Fish Poison Tree
Local Name: (Kin’bi) ކިނބި ގަސް 
Age: 55 years
Scientific NameBarringtonia Asiatica

The Fish Poison Tree is widely distributed around the tropics from Asia to the Western Pacific Islands. These angiosperms grow up to 20 to 25 meters tall and have large bronze or yellowish leaves. The flowers are showy, resembling puff balls, with numerous filamentous white stamens with pinkish tips. Blooming at night, the stamens fall off by morning.

The fruits look like lanterns or small boxes and can often be seen floating in the ocean. Parts of the tree contain a poison called saponin which is used to stun fish, hence the name Fish Poison Tree. Its timber is used for handicrafts and lacquer work while smoke from the dried fruits can be used as a mosquito repellent.

This species of tree is common to the Maldives

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