This Dead-Looking Tree is Deadly
Pachypodiums, or bottle trees, are trees or shrubs from continental Africa and Madagascar with a distinctly swollen base- the bottleish shape for which it was named in English. In Latin, pachy means thick and pod means foot, so thick-foot, to describe the shape of the base. Typically found in warm, sunny conditions, these plants typically grow in warmer areas up to 8m tall, though two species, P. bispinosum and P. succulentum can withstand freezing temperatures.
Pachypodiums are spare looking and prickly, but do flower with pretty blooms that come in a variety of pinks, whites, purples, and yellows. They resemble their close relative, Adeniums in this and their toxicity, but are differentiated by the extreme thickness of their stems.
Despite the fact that they grow fairly easily, adapt to different climates, are popular among collectors, and can even be kept as houseplants, Pachypodiums are also quite poisonous. The sap stimulates the heart and in the right dose can kill, making it a popular choice for arrow poison in ancient times. So if you are into hunting, I suppose this would be an excellent choice for your garden.
Image by KENPEI via Wikimedia Commons