November 22, 2017

Gympie Gympie

Dendrocnide moroides or stinging tree| Credit: Wikimedia Commons | Cgoodwin/GNU

Dendrocnide moroides or stinging tree| Credit: Wikimedia Commons | Cgoodwin/GNU

It sounds cute, but Gympie-Gympie is considered to have the most virulent poison of the stinging nettles in the world. Dendrocnide moroides is a native to the Queensland region of Australia, growing in disturbed areas of the rainforest. Also called stinging tree, this shrub can reach 6 feet in height. The toxin in the hollow silica-tipped hairs that cover the plant can seriously injure humans, and a severe sting has been known to kill people. If you survive an encounter with this plant, you may experience pain for months following. A brush against it by other animals, such as dogs and horses, can easily kill them. Curiously, some marsupial species, insects and birds are able to eat the leaves, despite its killer tendencies.