Beefworm Plant or Cojón de Perro, Tabernaemontana alba

Tabernaemontana alba, a common plant in Belize and many parts of Central America. Las Cuevas Research Station, Chiquibul Forest, Belize. Photo by Bob Thomas. May 25, 2019.

Cojón de Perro is a commonly used Maya remedy for botfly (beefworm) infestation in tropical locals (and visitors who use local medicinal treatments). As in other members of the Apocynaceae, it exudes a white latex when a leaf is removed. The tip of a leaf petiole with its latex exudate is touched to the botfly breathing pore and the developing larva dies of suffocation.

They may grow to 6 m tall, but one is most award of 1 m plants alongside trails.


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