Poison Wood or Hog Gum TreeThe Poison Wood, or Hog Gum (Metopium Metopium, Small), a beautiful little West Indian sumach, breathes poison from its flowers and leaves not unlike that exhaled by Rhus toxicodendron, the poison ivy.
The bitter, poisonous juice exudes as a gum from cracks in the thin, orange-brown bark. In lower Florida the tree is abundant along the coast, and on the Keys. There is an old account that says: " Wild Hogs, when wounded, by natural instinct come to this tree, where by rubbing its balsam on their wounds, they are cured."
Its leaves are pinnate, somewhat ash-like, and the drooping clusters of glossy, orange-red berries have given the tree the name, Coral Sumach.