For all eye exposures to sap, rinse the eye with water for 15 minutes and then seek urgent medical assistance.


The central spike is packed with tiny florets.

The large, heart-shaped leaves are showy with prominent veins, and are often variegated with red, pink, white or green. The fruit are small, white berries clustered along the spike.


  • Potentially toxic

  • Irritant to skin or eyes


The copious milky sap can cause intense pain and blistering if it makes contact with the skin. It can also cause intense pain and temporary blindness if it gets into the eyes.


Common name: Milky mangrove

Botanical nameExcoecaria agallocha

Other common names: River poison tree, Blind-your-eye

Family: Euphorbiaceae

General description: A small tree up to 5m tall, found in mangrove communities, along tidal streams, or on the margins of tidal salt meadows. It grows mainly in the tropics and subtropics.

Flowers: Flowers are small and occur in sprays or racemes up to 3cm long in the axils or forks of the leaves.

Leaves: The leaves are alternate, shiny bright green, fleshy, 4-10cm long and 2-5cm wide, with a smooth or bluntly toothed margin.

Fruit/Berries: The fruit are capsules 6-8mm wide, usually with three cells, each containing a seed. The capsule cells explode apart when mature.

Other: The sap is milky.

Last updated: July 2023