Strychnos is a genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 of flowering plant
Flowering plant
The flowering plants , also known as Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta, are the most diverse group of land plants. Angiosperms are seed-producing plants like the gymnosperms and can be distinguished from the gymnosperms by a series of synapomorphies...

s, belonging to family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

Loganiaceae are a family of flowering plants classified in order Gentianales. The family includes 13 genera, distributed around the world's tropics.Earlier treatments of the family have included up to 29 genera...

 (sometimes Strychnaceae). The genus includes about 190 species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 of tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

s and liana
A liana is any of various long-stemmed, woody vines that are rooted in the soil at ground level and use trees, as well as other means of vertical support, to climb up to the canopy to get access to well-lit areas of the forest. Lianas are especially characteristic of tropical moist deciduous...

s, distributed around the world's tropics.
  • The Strychnine tree
    Strychnine tree
    The Strychnine tree also known as Nux vomica, Poison Nut, Semen strychnos and Quaker Buttons, is a deciduous tree native to India, southeast Asia, a member of family Loganiaceae. It is a medium-size tree growing in open habitats...

    , Strychnos nux-vomica, native to tropical Asia
    Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

    , is the source of the poison
    In the context of biology, poisons are substances that can cause disturbances to organisms, usually by chemical reaction or other activity on the molecular scale, when a sufficient quantity is absorbed by an organism....

    Strychnine is a highly toxic , colorless crystalline alkaloid used as a pesticide, particularly for killing small vertebrates such as birds and rodents. Strychnine causes muscular convulsions and eventually death through asphyxia or sheer exhaustion...


  • Strychnos ignatia
    Strychnos ignatia
    Strychnos ignatia is a tree in the Loganiaceae family, native to the Philippines and parts of China. It is named for Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit missionary order.-Fruit:...

    ("St. Ignatius bean"), is a closely related Asian shrub/tree.

  • The species Strychnos toxifera is one of the 2 plant sources of the poison curare
    Curare is a common name for various arrow poisons originating from South America. The three main types of curare are:* tubocurare...


  • Another notable species are Strychnos spinosa
    Strychnos spinosa
    Strychnos spinosa is a tree indigenous to tropical and subtropical Africa. It produces juicy, sweet-sour, yellow fruits, containing numerous hard brown seeds. Greenish-white flowers grow in dense heads at the ends of branches . The fruit tend to appear only after good rains. The smooth, hard fruit...

    (Lam.), commonly known as the Natal orange and Strychnos pungens
    Strychnos pungens
    Strychnos pungens is a tree which belongs to the Loganiaceae. Usually about 5m tall, occurring in mixed woodland or in rocky places. Branches are short and rigid. Leaves are smooth, stiff, opposite, elliptic and with a sharp, spine-like tip...

    , from Southern Africa
    Southern Africa
    Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. Within the region are numerous territories, including the Republic of South Africa ; nowadays, the simpler term South Africa is generally reserved for the country in English.-UN...

    ; which are drought-tolerant and produce edible fruits.

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