poisonwood Anacardiaceae Metopium
toxiferum (L.) Krug & Urb. symbol: METO3
Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound, evergreen and leathery, to 12 inches long, with 5 to 7 ovate leaflets with entire margins, shiny yellow-green to dark green above and pale green below; may become black-spotted as the leaves exude latex-based sap. TOXIC.
Flower: Small, yellowish green, appearing in clusters at the branch tips, present year-round but are more prolific in spring. TOXIC.
Fruit: An orange-brown 3/8 inch drupe borne in loose clusters; mostly ripening in the fall. TOXIC.
Twig: Stout, reddish-brown and shiny to gray; may have some rusty pubescence near the tips; leaf scars raised and narrow to shield-shaped; terminal buds conical. TOXIC.
Bark: Sycamore-like, mottled dark gray, brown, and orange; producing a latex-based black sap especially when wounded. TOXIC.
Form: A large shrub or small tree with a rounded crown to 40 feet tall.
Looks like: gumbo-limbo
Additional Range Information: Metopium toxiferum is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See the full-size PDF map.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2019 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information