Plants in the Amazon Rainforest

By: Karla Hostetter, Jessica Showalter, Keira Johnson

Plants that are not poisonous

  • Pineapple

The pineapple is a tropical plant with edible multiple fruit consisting of coalesced berries, also called pineapples, and the most economically significant plant in the Bromeliaceae family. 1. Pineapple Discovery

In 1493, explorer Christopher Columbus found pineapples on Guadeloupe Island in the Caribbean. The fruit is also native to southern Brazil and Paraguay.

2. Pineapples in Colonial America

American colonists regarded pineapples as a luxurious treat because of their rarity and cost.

3. Pineapple Anatomy

A pineapple is the result of many flowers whose fruitlets have joined around the core.

4. Pineapple Nutrition

Pineapples contain bromelain, an enzyme that may help arthritis pain by easing inflammation. They are also a good source of vitamin C, which helps your immune system.

5. Pineapples in Hawaii

Historically, Hawaii was the world's largest pineapple producer and source for U.S. pineapples. Today the largest producers include the Philippines, Brazil, and Costa Rica.

6. Pineapple Selection

Pass over sour-smelling or bruised pineapples. Fruit from Hawaii or Central America tends to be freshest.

7. Pineapple Care

To make your pineapple softer and juicier, keep it at room temperature for 1 or 2 days before cutting.

8. Pineapple Calories

One cup of pineapple has 70 to 85 calories.

Strangler Fig

Strangler Fig - this tree begins to grow from a fig tree in the canopy and then shoots roots down to the floor of the forest to take permanent root. It uses a host tree to stabilize itself and eventually kills the host tree as it competes for soil nutrients and light.

Figs are one of the most important plant species of a rainforest ecosystem. There are close to 1,000 different species of Ficus, which can be found in every major rainforest, tropical continent and islands around the world. Hundreds of animals like pigeons, parrots, hornbills, toucans, monkeys, gibbons, and fruit-eating bats, feed on the sweet fruit of the fig tree.

Cocoa Trees

The cocoa tree is found in Brazil, the Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Ghana. Virtually every part of the tree can be used in natural remedies for treating headaches, dry lips and skin, coughs, and burns to name a few. Chocolate produced from the cocoa beans is said to contain polyphenols, which help to reduce blood pressure and prevent heart disease.

Kapok Trees

The leaves, seeds, bark, and resin of the kapok tree is used to treat maladies such as dysentery, fever, kidney disease, and asthma. This tree also produces several hundred to several thousand fruits at any given time, so it is an important food source as well as having medicinal properties

Plants that are poisonous


Strychnos is a plant found in the Amazon rain forest with oval leaves, green flowers that have an unpleasant smell and red fruit about the size of an apple. The plant is best known for its use in creating poisonous arrows that kill a victim through contact with blood and asphyxiation. The plant's resin has also been used in hand-to-hand combat, by coating fingernails so that a scratch on an opponent has the possibility of being lethal. If poisoned, a victim will experience muscle spasms, rapidly changing blood pressure and suffocation. The plant has been used in medicine as an anesthetic.


Another plant used as an arrow poison, curare is a large and poisonous vine that is filled with alkaloids. The alkaloids can relax muscles, thus rendering a foe unable to charge or run when used as a poisonous arrow tip. An animal or person shot with one of these arrows will experience paralysis of the respiratory muscles, but will remain conscious while suffocating to death. These consequences can be reversed through artificial respiration, but typically a victim can not gesture to indicate that is what he needs. In medicinal purposes, it is used to help cure fever, bruises and kidney stones, and can be used as an anesthetic.

Angel's Trumpet

Angel’s trumpets are a flower found and grown across the world, with some species originating in the Amazon rain forest. The rain forest varieties are known for being used by shamans, or medicine men. The flowers are capable of producing lucid dreams that shamans use to predict disease and misfortune, such as in with the Jivaroan-speaking people of the western Amazon. The plant's poison comes from the alkaloids found in the flower, and in large amounts can be deadly to a human.