Warning: Hippobroma longiflora is an invasive pest plant in various parts of its range. It should not be cultivated in the warm-temperate, subtropical, or tropical regions of the United States and all occurrences outside of cultivation should be promptly destroyed. It is included here only as an aid to identification and not to promote its cultivation in any way whatsoever.
Hippobroma longiflora is a weedy plant with invasive tendencies that is now well-established throughout all of the tropical regions of the world. Its exact nativity is in doubt but it is probably truly native only to the West Indies. All parts of the plant exude a poisonous milky sap that is toxic in sufficiently high doses and is dangerously irritating to the eyes. Presently, it is establislhed as a non-native introduction in Hawaii, where it is extremely weedy and invasive, and in Florida, where it should be eliminated wherever found to prevent it from spreading further.
Hippobroma longiflora is commonly known as star flower, star of Bethlehem, and madam fate, with the last name being an allusion to its poisonous nature.
© 2009 Rufino Osorio. All rights reserved.