- Species: Sea Mango/Cerbera (cerbera manghas)
- Location: Garden Road besides Cheung Kong Centre
As I recently discovered, Sea Mango trees, or Cerbera (cerbera manghas), and their fruits are poisonous. So imagine my astonishment when I spotted these fruits hanging down over a busy street frequented by many tourists and locals alike. The tree sits next to the Cheung Kong Centre in Central, just downhill from St John’s cathedral.
I am not 100% sure that this is a Sea Mango tree, and not a regular Mango tree, since it is not identified and mark. But from the looks of the bark, the leaves and the fruit, it looks a lot like the deadly genus.
I’m not trying to be alarmist, but shouldn’t the Hong Kong government at least put a sign up for people not to eat the fruits of this tree. I’m assuming that the fruits will drop to the ground eventually, as most fruits do when they ripen. I’m not saying that I am the type of person to try out strange fruits from strange trees that I haven’t identified, but there’s a lot of traffic on this path, which leads up to the Peak Tram station. Isn’t it better to err on the side of caution, then to simply assume no one will pick one up and give it a try, since they do look remarkably like tasty mangos.
I remember when I first came across Cerberas, which was at the Juming Museum in Taiwan, where each Cerebra tree was marked very clear as “poisonous.” Shouldn’t Hong Kong have the same policy?
It is a beautiful tree and I had been trying to identify it for some time now. I always hoped that it was a regular Mango tree, but it looks like I’m only half right.