Bushman´s poison - Acokanthera oblongifolia

The "Bushman´s poison" or "Wintersweet" as it is also known is a shrub or small tree native to Southern Africa.  It is the source of a poison that is used on bushmen´s arrow tips and is highly toxic to both animals and humans.  The fruits of this dangerous plant contain estrofantina-G and can be fatal is ingested (especially when they are green).  When I first saw this bush I thought that it might be some sort of olive by the looks of the fruits. 


  1. If an animal is shot with a poison darttip,..
    would that animal be edible?
    Is this plant found in the eastern cape? RSA

  2. yes to both. it breaks down in the body.
    and if both available would make coctail by mixing in larvae of diamphidia.

  3. ian, that is untrue, the San People or bushmen actually determine the size of the poisoned meat that must be removed before they consume the animal, even if a little bit gets onto their fingers and they ingest it, they can die. Animals shot with the poisoned arrrow, depending on where they are shot, can take a few hours to die, they dont realise what is happening they just gradually weaker till the San pounce on the now weak animal and help it along its passage.

  4. what is the difference between oblongifolia and oppositifolia?

  5. Yes, I would also like to know this!

  6. They are two species. Both are poisonous.