One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
More fully "poisonwood tree". Any of several kinds of poisonous tree: (a) the poison sumac, Toxicodendron vernix; (b) a related tree, Metopium toxiferum (family Anacardiaceae), of Florida and the West Indies (also called burnwood, coral sumach); (c) a small tree, Gymnanthes lucida (family Euphorbiaceae), native to Florida and the West Indies.
Late 17th century. From poison + wood.
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