Ackee (Blighia sapida
) is a broadleaf evergreen tree native to Western Africa. It is widely cultivated and naturalized in the tropics and subtropics worldwide. Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica.
The tree produces small, greenish-white flowers and conspicuous reddish fruit which splits at maturity to reveal three shiny black seeds embedded into a snowy white waxy aril. The unripe fruit from this tree is toxic, containing hypoglycin A, which is the same toxin responsible for causing Atypical myopathy
in horses from consumption of Acer spp
a cyclopropyl amino acid. If ingested, this toxin inhibits fatty acid metabolism and gluconeogenesis, leading to hypoketonemia and liver failure.