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Apocynaceae, Thevetia ahouai, Huevo de Gato

February 28, 2009

Thevetia ahouai is a small three or shrub, growing up to eight meters in height with a smooth greyish bark. In Panama this species can be found growing in the lowlands in dry to humid tropical areas, where it is commonly seen as secondary-growth vegetation. Occurs from Mexico to Colombia and Venezuela. In Panama it can be found pretty much throughout the country. 

The species can be used as an ornamental, bright yellow flowers give off a subtle scent. Bright red fruit are interesting. When cut the leaves and bark exude a milky white sap which can cause irritation when coming in contact with the skin. The fruit can be used as poison. The plant must have additional significant ethnobotanical uses. 


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