The Sandbox Tree
Considered one of the most dangerous plants in the world, the sandbox tree isn’t suitable for home landscapes, or any landscape actually. The sap is poisonous and can cause nasty rashes. Bizarrely, when the fruit of the sandbox matures, it explodes, sending seeds in all directions at upwards of 160 miles per hour! This has led some folks to refer to it as the dynamite tree.
More About It
You can easily recognize the tree by its grey bark covered with cone-shaped spikes. The tree has distinctly different male and female flowers. It only grows in frost-free areas and needs a moist sandy loam soil. It does well in zones 10 and 11. Long ago, colonists in the British West Indies would use the empty seed capsules as sandboxes for blotting ink
This dangerous tree is an evergreen, part of the spurge family. There are two species; Hura crepitans and H. polyandra. They are native primarily to the tropical parts of South America, Mexico and the Amazonian rain forest; occasionally found in tropical parts of North America. In addition, the sandbox tree was introduced into Tanzania in Eastern Africa, where it is now considered an invasive species.
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