Cerbera Odollam (Pong-Pong Tree)

This attractive tree, native to Malaysia, is a sun loving species, popularly used within Thai gardens as a great privacy creator, or just a nice ornamental tree.

suicide tree

For all it's glossy good looks, the tree is unfortunately loathed as much as it is loved. Along with attractive, fragrant white flowers, the Cerbera Odollam bears round, green, mango like fruits, which if ingested can be fatal (the poison is able to block the calcium-ion channels within the heart muscle, causing cardiac arrest). In this respect, it shares similarities with other members of the Apocynaceae family, who also bear poisonous fruit, and explains why the cutely named 'Pong Pong' tree, is also widely known as the 'suicide' tree.

But aside from the fruit, the tree should not be unnecessarily dismissed, being that, it is a very beautiful and large tree, capable of growing to around 10m in height.

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