One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Any of various trees with irritant or toxic sap or other poisonous attributes: specifically (a) either of two trees of the family Anacardiaceae, Metopium toxiferum of Florida and the West Indies, and the poison sumac, Toxicodendron vernix, of eastern North America; also called poisonwood; (b) the upas tree of Java, as identified with Antiaris toxicaria (family Moraceae); (c) any of several Australian trees, especially (more fully "river poison-tree") the milky mangrove, Excoecaria agallocha.
Late 17th century; earliest use found in Speed's Theatre of Empire of Great-Britain. From poison + tree.
poison tree/ˈpɔɪzn ˌtriː/
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