Strychnos nux-vomica   L. Poison nut ;  Strychnine  - Loganaceae

The fruits of poison nut or strychnine, Strychnos nux-vomica, from a tree native to the tropical rain forests of southeast Asia, resemble a small orange in shape and color.  Embedded within a white gel-like pulp are several round, flat, glossy, yellow-green seeds with silky hairs.  The disk-shaped seeds yield the poisonous alkaloid strychnine.

Introduced to Europe in the 15th cent it became another toxic substance in the European arsenal of poisons.  Later it was recognized as a medicine for its ability to relieve paralysis and stimulate the central nervous system.

 

BACK
TOP
FWD