upas tree in folklore, a Javanese tree alleged to poison its surroundings and said to be fatal to approach. An account of the tree was given in the London Magazine of 1783, and was said to be translated from one written in Dutch. The physician Erasmus Darwin (1731–1802) adopted and gave currency to the fiction, but it was in fact invented by the writer and critic George Steevens (1736–1800).
upas tree (ipoh) See ANTIARIS.
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