Cerbera Manghas
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Cerbera Manghas

Cerbera manghas
Cerbera manghas InflorescencesFlower BotGardBln0906a.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Cerbera
C. manghas
Binomial name
Cerbera manghas
  • Cerbera linnaei Montrouz.
  • Cerbera manghas var. acutisperma Boiteau
  • Cerbera manghas f. luteola Boiteau
  • Cerbera manghas var. mugfordii (F.M.Bailey) Domin
  • Cerbera odollam var. mugfordii F.M.Bailey
  • Cerbera tanghin Hook.
  • Cerbera venenifera (Poir.) Steud.
  • Elcana seminuda Blanco
  • Odollamia manghas (L.) Raf.
  • Odollamia moluca Raf.
  • Tabernaemontana obtusifolia Poir.
  • Tanghinia manghas (L.) G.Don
  • Tanghinia veneneflua G.Don
  • Tanghinia venenifera Poir.

Cerbera manghas,[1] the sea mango, is a small evergreen coastal tree growing up 12 metres (39 ft) tall. The shiny dark-green leaves are in spiral arrangement, ovoid in shape. The flowers are fragrant, possessing a white tubular five-lobed corolla about 3 to 5 centimetres (1.2 to 2.0 in) in diameter, with a pink to red throat. They have five stamens and the ovary is positioned above the other flower parts. The fruits are egg-shaped, 5 to 10 centimetres (2.0 to 3.9 in) long, and turn bright red at maturity.


Cerbera tanghin - Köhler-s Medizinal-Pflanzen-176.jpg

Cerbera manghas is naturally distributed from the Seychelles 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.


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.[2]

In Madagascar, the seeds were used in ordeals called tangena, with often deadly results.

The fruit was reportedly eaten to commit suicide in the Marquesas Islands (Whistler, W. A. 1992. Flowers of the Pacific Island Seashore).

In Hawaii, Cerbera manghas is sometimes called "suicide apple".[]


Because of its deadly poisonous seeds, the genus name is derived from Cerberus, the hell dog from the Greek mythology, thus indicating the toxicity of the seeds. In Madagascar, the seeds were used in sentence rituals to poison kings and queens.[2]


In Sri Lanka, this wood is used for making masks particularly because it is a light wood.



  1. ^ POWO: Cerbera manghas L.
  2. ^ a b "Cerbera manghas L." Flora Fauna Web. Retrieved 2017.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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