Gympie gympie

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Dendrocnide moroides, the gympie gympie

Dendrocnide moroides, the gympie gympie, or gympie stinger, is a plant of rainforest areas in the north east of Australia. It is also found in Indonesia. It has stinging hairs over the whole plant. It delivers a strong neurotoxin when touched. The small bulb on the tip of the stinging hairs break off and penetrating the skin, injecting the toxin.[1] It is the most toxic of the Australian stinging trees. The fruit can be eaten if the stinging hairs that cover it are removed.[2]

Ernie Rider, who was slapped in the face and torso with the foliage in 1963, said:

For two or three days the pain was almost unbearable; I couldn’t work or sleep, then it was pretty bad pain for another fortnight or so. The stinging persisted for two years and recurred every time I had a cold shower. ... There's nothing to rival it; it's ten times worse than anything else.[3]

The sting does not stop several small marsupial species (such as the red-legged pademelon, some insects, such as Prasyptera mastersi,[1] and some birds, from eating the leaves.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Hurley, Marina. "'The worst kind of pain you can imagine' – what it's like to be stung by a stinging tree". The Conversation. Retrieved 2020-03-08.
  2. "Is It Edible? – An introduction to Australian Bush Tucker". ACS Distance Education. Archived from the original on March 15, 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  3. Once stung, never forgotten. [1]