Lithraea molleoides

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Lithraea molleoides
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Lithraea
Species: L. molleoides
Binomial name
Lithraea molleoides

Lithraea molleoides (syn. Lithraea molleoides var. lorentziana Lillo, Lithraea ternifolia, Schinus brasiliensis Marchand ex Cabrera, Schinus leucocarpus M., Schinus molleoides (Vell.) Engler, Lithraea aroeirinha Marchand ex Warm.[1]) is a tree (2.5 and 8 m tall) that is native to South America, specially in Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, and Cerrado vegetation of Brazil.


The plant is commonly considered as unsuitable to landscaping, as it is a poisonous plant: it produces volatile substances that propagate from touching the leaves, through contact with droplets, or through the tree's pollen. These substances are allergenic[2] and contact with them may produce general allergic sensitivity, skin disease, fever, and visual problems.[3] Planting this tree where it can be accessible to the general public is therefore strongly discouraged.

Popular custom[edit]

In Uruguay, folk tradition states that people are supposed to salute the tree by changing the time of the day. If somebody encounters the tree during the day, she is supposed to say "Good night, Mrs. Aruera". Similarly, if it is during the night, she should say "Good day, Mrs. Aruera".


  1. ^ "Lithraea molleoides". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  2. ^ Cf. Paulo Backes & Bruno Irgang, Mata Atlântica: as árvores e a paisagem, Porto Alegre, Paisagem do Sul, 2004, page 100
  3. ^ Shimizu, Mario Tsunezi; Bueno, Leandro de Jesus Franco; Rodrigues, Rosa Fátima Oliveira; Sallowicz, Fabiano Augusto; Sawaya, Alexandra Christine Helena Frankland; Marques, Márcia Ortiz Maio (October–December 2006). "Essential oil of Lithraea molleoides (Vell.): chemical composition and antimicrobial activity". Brazilian Journal of Microbiology. 37 (4).

External links[edit]