Dendrocnide moroides – Gympie Stinger (seed)
Dendrocnide moroides, commonly known in Australia as the gympie-gympie, gympie stinger, stinging bush (or tree), mulberry-leaved stinger, or simply stinger, is a plant in the nettle family Urticaceae found in rainforest areas of Malesia and Australia. It is notorious for its extremely painful and long-lasting sting. The common name gympie-gympie comes from the language of the indigenous Gubbi Gubbi people of south eastern Queensland. Dendrocnide moroides is a straggly perennial understory shrub, usually flowering and fruiting when less than 3m tall, but it may reach up to 10m in height. The fruit are edible (the ones I tasted were rather bland) but there can be trichomes along the flower stalks so it is not recommended.
Researchers at UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience found a completely new class of neurotoxin miniprotein, which they named ‘gympietides‘ after the common name. “Although they come from a plant, the gympietides are similar to spider and cone snail toxins in the way they fold into their 3D molecular structures and target the same pain receptors—this arguably makes the Gympie-Gympie tree a truly ‘venomous’ plant. Dr Vetter said the long-lasting pain from the stinging tree may be explained by the gympietides permanently changing the sodium channels in the sensory neurons, not due to the fine hairs getting stuck in the skin (full article here.)
Care and Cultivation of Dendrocnide moroides
Dendrocnide moroides seed should be sown just under surface of good seed raising mix in full sun to part shade. Likes a full sun or part shade position with adequate moisture and regular fertiliser.
Needless to say, you should be extremely careful growing and cultivating this plant as a curiosity.
10 seeds per packet
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