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Black Poisonwood

Metopium brownei


Locally known as Chechem (or Chechen) Negro. It is a tall tree and in the forest,its leaves are mixed into the forest canopy. It is therefore recognized by the black resin on the bark that is shown in the photo. The resin is a compound known as urushiol, which can cause contact dermititis on one's skin when touched; therefore live trees and fresh cut logs should be handled carefully. The cure for the dermititis is made from the nearby growing Gumbo Limbo tree (see my posting on this tree).


It is one of the most common of trees found in the forests of the Yucatan Peninsula.

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Spotted by

Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Spotted on Mar 14, 2014
Submitted on Mar 20, 2014

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CheChen Poisonwood Poisonwood Chechem tree

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