Strychnine tree (Strychnos nux-vomica)
Also known as nux vomica, poison nut, semen strychnos and quaker buttons, the medium-sized strychnine tree is native to South East Asia and Australia.
This tree bears small, orange-coloured fruits with highly poisonous seeds that are neurotoxic – they harm the body’s nervous system, causing convulsions, paralysis and even death. The tree’s blossoms and bark can also be poisonous, containing the alkaloids strychnine and brucine.
At low levels, however, it has been used to promote appetite and is said to aid digestion in humans. The strychnine tree is used in homeopathic and herbal medicines but has also been used as rat poison. Never consume this tree without seeking professional advice first.