Sandbox Tree
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Sandbox Tree
ntroduced Photo: Shaista Ahmad
Common name: Sandbox Tree, Possum Wood, Jabillo, Dynamite tree, Monkey no-climb • Kannada: ರೇತಿದಾನಿ Retidaani, Retidani • Tamil: Kaatu-amanku, Mulla-rasanam • Telugu: Seema buruga • Kannada: Retidaani, Retidani
Botanical name: Hura crepitans    Family: Euphorbiaceae (Castor family)
Synonyms: Hura brasiliensis

Native to tropical America, Sandbox tree is a tree that can grow to 100 ft. An identifying feature is the many dark, pointed spines on the trunk, and the smooth brown bark. These spines have caused it to be called Monkey no-climb. The large ovate leaves grow to two feet wide. Generally, the are ovate to circular, 12-25 long, 7-15 cm wide, witha heart-shaped base, and a narrow tip. Margin has glandular teeth. Male and female flowers are separate, red in color, and have no petals. Male flowers grow on long spikes, female flowers are solitary in axils. The fruit is a large capsule with explosive dehiscence. When ripe, pods catapult the seeds as far as 100 meters. It has also been known as the Dynamite tree, so named for the explosive sound of the ripe fruit as it splits into segments. Fishermen have been said to use the milky, caustic sap from this tree to poison fish. The wood is used for furniture under the name "hura".

Identification credit: Navendu Pāgé Photographed in Lal Bagh Botanical Garden, Bangalore.

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