FoI
Blinding Tree   
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Blinding Tree
ative Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Blinding Tree, Milky mangrove, Blind-your-eye mangrove, River poison tree • Bengali: gewa • Hindi: Gangiva, Tejbala • Kannada: hara, haro, haaro gida • Konkani: उसो uso • Malayalam: കോമട്ടി koomatti • Marathi: गेवा geva • Oriya: guan • Sanskrit: agaru, gangwa, gaourai • Tamil: தில்லை tillai, அகதி akati, ஆக்கொல்லி akkolli, அம்பலவிருட்சம் ampala-virutcam, அம்பலத்தி ampalatti, ஆடியகூத்தன் atiya-kuttan, கொக்குமேனி kokkumeni, பருவி paruvi, வரிவனம் vari-vanam • Telugu: తెల్ల tella
Botanical name: Excoecaria agallocha    Family: Euphorbiaceae (Castor family)

The reason behind the curious name of this tree is that the milky sap of this tree can cause temporary blindness if it enters the eyes. Blinding Tree is a small, evergreen or deciduous, unisexual tree, rarely up to 20 m tall, exuding poisonous white latex from all broken surfaces. Young leaves are pink and old leaves withering scarlet, blades elliptic, with upcurled sides. Male inflorescences hanging, narrow, 5-1 0 cm long; female inflorescences shorter, 1-4-cm long. Capsule are about 7 mm in diameter, often splitting open explosively. Blinding Tree is found in South India to southern Japan, Southeast Asia and Pacific Islands.

Identification credit: Manasi Karangutkar
Photographed at Achare, Maharashtra.
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