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The sandbox tree is a tropical tree from South America with smooth bark that is covered with sharp spines. Thus the species is sometimes called the ‘monkey no-climb’ in the Amazon. Another common name is the dynamite tree, because of the explosive power of the fruit.
The fruits resemble a small pumpkin (8cm wide) and burst with tremendous strength and loud noise apart. That way they can spread their seeds, which are fired off by the explosion at a speed of 250 km/h. Sometimes they can be found at a distance of 50 up to 100 meters away from the tree!
The juice of this species is very toxic, so you should carefully take care of the plant. Local fishermen in the Amazon use the juice for poisoning fish, and other inhabitants produce poisoned arrows.
It is a tropical species which can also be kept as a houseplant.
The seeds have a short viability, so they can have a longer delivery time. Sow them directly in sowing mix at a temperature of around 25 degC. Keep the soil constantly moist.
All year round.
Photo 1: Plantaciones Edelman
Photo 2: M S via Flickr
Photo 3: Marco Schmidt