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The 54 species in 3 genera are found in tropical regions.

[Summary yet to be added]

Hernandia L.

Twenty four species are found in central America, Guiana, the West Indies, West Africa, Zanzibar, the Mascarenes, IndoMalaysia, and the Pacific region.

Hernandia ovigera L.
Sea-Hearse, Buah Keras Laut

The seed is a skin irritant (Uhe 1974).

Hernandia peltata Meisn.
Hernandia, Jack-in-the-Box

The juice, if rubbed on the skin, removes the hair (Burkill 1935).

Hernandia sonora L.
Jack-in-the-Box, Topolite, Mago

The wood can cause dermatitis in wood-workers, possibly from its content of podophyllotoxin acetate (Orsler 1973, King 1953).

The leaf juice has a depilatory effect (Souder 1963).


  • Souder P (1963) Poisonous plants on Guam. In: Keegan HL, Macfarlane WV (Eds) Venomous and Poisonous Animals and Noxious Plants of the Pacific Region, pp. 15-29. New York: Pergamon Press [WorldCat] [url]

Richard J. Schmidt

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