Tree with exploding fruit

Answer: You mean.. they explode?

Zounds!

It’s true: some plants DO explode, including ones that look quiet and serene in botanical gardens

Waimea Arboretum


As I did this research, the biggest surprise to me was that there are a LOT of plants that explode. Luckily, most of them are reasonably small and gentle. But there are some that can be deadly.
The comments this week were especially fantastic. This week I’m going to lightly edit Regular Reader Mike’s answer because it was great. Nice job, Mike! (I’ve added my comments in a different font so you can see them.)
Remember that the Challenges this week are:
1. Are there, in fact, dangerous trees that can somehow eject sharp bits of themselves, potentially hurting a human being? (If so… HOW would it do this? So far as I know, few plants – venus fly traps aside – are capable of much movement.) 2. More generally, are there other plants that can hurl seeds? You can imagine this might be a handy evolutionary mechanism to have–but again, how would that seed-hurling mechanism actually work? Do they have little plant muscles??
AlmadenMike writes:
‟A few years ago, I let a small section of backyard grass go untended before a remodel that would replace it with a patio. When it went to seed, I experienced a spectacular ankle-high show of seed-spouting fireworks with every step. Merely brushing against my pants was enough to set off the blasts. I thought I’d start with this search to try to identify that grass and go from there:

But the fourth hit was an article in a gardening blog that described the entire phenomenon: Examples of plants that disperse seeds by shooting them.
The article starts:
“Some plants disperse their seeds forcefully by ejecting them. Sometimes the tension is so great, seeds may be ejected up to 200 feet away from the mother plant. This method of seed dispersal is called ballistichory, a label that hints at the projectile-like emergence of seeds from their pods or capsules. This type of seed dispersal occurs because the fibers in the dried fruit pull against each other to create tension, and when the tension is great enough, the fruit splits open and the walls of the fruit spring back, flinging the seeds out with force.”
It listed four plant families that had significant ballistichoric seed ejections: Pea family (Fabaceae), Euphorbia (Euphorbiaceae), Acanthus (Acanthaceae) and Mallow (Malvaceae). “In the pea family are “Orchid trees” (Bauhinia spp.), (which) bear large pods that can fling seeds nearly 50 feet.”
I didn’t see any plant list for the Waimea Arboretum or Botanic Garden … and no searches for those places and “dangerous tree” got any hits. But I thought your “dangerous tree” might have been a Bauhinia.
Searching for:

led to this informative article (second hit) about two more capable exploding seed capsule trees. It’s called, “Going Ballistic.” From the article:
“One interesting example from the tropics is the genus Pentaclethra, a relative of Bauhinia. An experienced botanist reported that Pentaclethra was the only plant he knew whose pods opened so explosively and forcefully that they could break the sturdy oaken presses that botanists use to press and dry their plant specimens. For all its press-shattering strength, Pentaclethra throws its seeds only about 33 feet from the parent tree, which, ironically, is not as far as the gentle Bauhinia. Just for the record, the world champion ballistics title belongs to an African tree in the Legume family, Tetraberlinia moreliana, which throws its seeds almost 200 feet!” The latter may have come from the 1997 paper: “Explosive Seed Dispersal of the Rainforest Tree Tetraberlinia moreliana (Leguminosae – Caesalpinioideae) in Gabon” by Xander M. Van Der Burgt, (Journal of Tropical Ecology – Vol. 13, No. 1 (Jan., 1997), pp. 145-151). (You can find this paper by searching for in Google Scholar–it’s the first hit. In this paper I read that:

“The dehiscence is caused by tension that builds up between the two valves during drying. Mature pods explode with a crack during periods of sunshine.”
One tree he monitored produced an estimated 15,000-20,000 seeds, with 1.5-2% of those seeds projected over 50 meters away. The longest distance was 60 meters (nearly 197 feet). (With discussions of launch angle and wind-speed dispersions, this paper read almost like an analysis of a golfer testing drivers.) The author also speculates that such explosive dispersal is handy for “…high forest trees, from which large seeds lacking dispersal
devices are thrown many metres away.”


Van Der Burgt’s paper also mentions that the exit velocity for the test tree was 37.1 meters/second … which was less than nature’s fastest. That high speed mark belongs to Hura creptitans, aka Sandbox tree or Dynamite tree, which launched its seeds at 70m/s (157 miles/hour).
This tree, Hura creptitans, may well be your “dangerous tree.” (FWIW, The sap is also poisonous.)
Googling simply:

turned up a host of articles and videos. Among the best is this article from a gardening blog, Sandbox Tree Facts.
“Considered one of the most dangerous plants in the world, the sandbox tree isn’t suitable for home landscapes, or any landscape actually. … Sandbox tree fruit looks like little pumpkins, but once they dry into seed capsules, they become ticking time bombs. When fully mature, they explode with a loud bang and fling their hard, flattened seeds at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour and distances of over 60 feet. The shrapnel can seriously injure any person or animal in its path.”I found two videos (although none show the H. crepitans seeds exploding on their own without a tap to get them going).
This is a nice video of Hura crepitans (Sandbox tree), showing its formidable spines: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKEgrmfHWX0)

and a Smithsonian Channel video of several exploding-seed plants including the remarkable exploding cucumber, worth watching on its own (as it’s an example of explosive seed dispersal that uses fluid pressure, not dehiscense to eject its seeds). Unfortunately, there’s no Sandbox tree in this video. It’s still worth watching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsIojj4PzAo
The “Going Ballistic” article also succinctly described the ballistichory mechanism: “All of these plants rely on the drying of the fruit wall to generate tension. The wall of a ballistic fruit has at least two layers in which the woody fibers are oriented in different directions, usually at right angles. As the woody fibers dry, the layers pull against each other. When at last the fruit fractures along a predetermined seam or weak spot, the walls curl, throwing the seeds a considerable distance. … It is the drying of the fruit that supplies the tension.”
So my answers to your questions would be:
1) Several trees do eject their seeds with an explosive speed of 30-70 meters per second that can send them nearly 200 feet away. One could imagine that it might be hazardous to stand very close to one of the seed pods at the time of its ballistichoric dehiscense. Especially those of the Sandbox/Dynamite Tree, Hura creptitans. 2) Yes, quite a few plants eject their seeds with explosive force. The mechanism (described in more detail above) involves increasing tension within a seed pod as it dries, and explosive ejection of the seeds when the pod eventually ruptures.

Finally, after finding all this, I did not look further to identify the grass that I’d had in my backyard.
_____________________________
AlmadenMike has it right. The magical words to know here are dehiscense and ballistichoric. Once you start running into technical terms in the middle of your search, its time to start paying attention–especially once you look them up and learn that these concepts are central to what you seek.
Similar topic search: Mike started his search by looking for explosive dispersal of seeds, and then learned the word “ballistichory,” which then led him to the Bauhinia plant, which led him to the Sandbox Tree, Hura creptitans.
I followed a similar path, but started with the query:

which got me to Hura creptitans fairly quickly.
Once I knew the Latin name, a YouTube search found me a video of the fruit exploding (after being hit with a piece of wood). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNlk2V9yFhM
Look twenty seconds into this video for the impressive explosion, which would account for the sounds I heard in the arboretum.

And, just to verify that this was the tree that I’d walked near, I did this search:

I will admit that I ended up having to go to Google Images as a way to ensure that there IS a Hura creptitans at the Waimea arboretum. (Like AlmadenMike, I wasn’t able to find a plant list for the arboretum. I’m sure they have one, but not online.)
In any case, my Google Image search led me to a Pictaram image collection of Hura creptitans (who knew such a thing would exist?), and in that collection, there are a couple images of the Sandbox tree with the hashtags #arboretum and #WaimeaValley. That convinces me that there really is at least one Sandbox tree in the Waimea Arboretum.

P/C Ronald Casallas



AlmadenMike started his search by looking for a rapidly ejecting grass seeds. Luckily, I remembered seeing such a thing in my own yard, and was able to find out what causes it. (And, double lucky, AlmadenMike also live in the Silicon Valley.)
I tracked my “exploding grass seeds” to the Yellow Woodsorrel (Oxalis stricta). Wikipedia tells us that: “The mature seed capsules open explosively when disturbed and can disperse seeds up to 4 meters (about 13 feet) away.” There’s a lovely video of these seeds ejecting when touched by a human… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhGib39KfSk

I will tell you from personal experience that when the conditions are right, touching just one seed pod can cause it to fling seeds every which way, causing a kind of mass seed ejection chain reaction, when thousands of seeds from neighboring seed pods are sent flying after being hit by an errant seed.

Search Lessons

1. Search for a parallel that you know about. I really liked AlmadenMike’s strategy of searching for something he already knew about (the exploding grass seeds), and then learning what terms he should use in later searches. From an article about exploding grass seeds he picked up the word “ballistichory,” and was able to use that term to focus in on ballistichoric tree pods and seeds as well. 2. Learn to notice special technical terms. Before starting this search, I’d never heard of dehscience, OR ballistchory. While they probably won’t be part of my everyday speech, they’re exactly the right words to use in this bit of research. By using specialty terms, your chance of finding exactly the right concept is improved. (But be sure to get the right definitions… you don’t want to use the wrong technical term!) 3. Sometimes Images are where you’ll find the connection. Honestly, I was expecting the Arboretum to have a plant list, or at least an online page highlighting some of their more spectacular plants. But I wasn’t able to find that. However, by using Image search I was able to discover at least one person who knew that there is a Sandbox Tree at the Waimea Arboretum.

________________
FLASH UPDATE!
As I was writing this blog post, I got an email from Regular Reader Ramón who took the initiative to write to the Director of the Waimea Arboretum to ask about explosive plants.
He wrote:
” .. a tree that has ballistic seed dispersal and we trying to find more information about it. will give an answer next week. But, the intention is to find the information before searching online. Do you have more information about what tree is this in the valley? Maybe is not a tree but a plant.”
And the Director wrote back!
“What Dr. Russell mentioned could be these trees: The rubber tree Hevea brasilliensis or the Sandbox tree – Hura crepitans. There may be others but these are what came to my mind. Thanks, Josie.”
This makes it pretty clear that it could be one of these two plants. Both have explosive seed dispersal mechanisms.
This leads to a 4th Search Lesson:
4. Ask questions of people who know. Ramón’s method of simply writing to someone who knows can be a real life-saver when dealing with complex research questions. Google is great, but so are people–especially experts who are right there and can check the ground truth for you.
After all this, my bet is on the Sandbox tree as the source of the overhead crack, whiz, and zing.
Why?
I forgot to mention that I also remember standing near a large, very dangerous-looking spiny tree when the seed pod flew overhead. It’s possible that I was looking at the Sandbox tree while the rubber plant seed exploded behind me, but it seems unlikely.
Of course, maybe I’ll have to return to the North Shore of Oahu to find out…
Search on!

Exploding seed pods

A mathematical model explains how popping cress catapults its seeds into the air

June 02, 2016

Plants use many strategies to disperse their seeds, but among the most fascinating are exploding seed pods. Scientists had assumed that the energy to power these explosions was generated through the seed pods deforming as they dried out, but in the case of ‘popping cress’ (Cardamine hirsuta) this turns out not to be so. Scientists at the the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, Germany, found out that these seed pods don’t wait to dry before they explode.

A mathematical model explains the explosive dispersal of seeds from the popping cress. The blue lines are computer simulations of the coiling seed pod at consecutive time points.

© MPI f. Plant Breeding Research/ A. Hay

A mathematical model explains the explosive dispersal of seeds from the popping cress. The blue lines are computer simulations of the coiling seed pod at consecutive time points. © MPI f. Plant Breeding Research/ A. Hay

Since plants do not have muscles; rapid movements, like the exploding seed pods of popping cress, are rare in the plant kingdom. Scientists from different disciplines, led by Angela Hay, a plant geneticist at the Max Planck Institute in Cologne, worked together to discover how the seed pods of popping cress explode.

Explosive shatter of these seed pods is so fast that advanced high-speed cameras are needed to even see the explosion. Richard Bomphrey, of the Royal Veterinary College at the University of London, explains: “Because the seeds are so small, aerodynamic drag slows them down immediately.” To compensate, the seeds are accelerated away from the fruit and get up-to-speed extremely quickly. In fact, they accelerate from zero to ten metres per second in about half a millisecond.

Cells contract

Hay’s teams of scientists discovered that the secret to explosive acceleration in popping cress is the evolutionary innovation of a fruit wall that can store elastic energy through growth and expansion, and can rapidly release this energy at the right stage of development. Previously, scientists had claimed that tension was generated by differential contraction of the inner and outer layers of the seed pod as it dried. So what puzzled the researchers was how popping cress pods exploded while green and hydrated, rather than brown and dry. Their surprising discovery was that hydrated cells in the outer layer of the seed pod actually used their internal pressure in order to contract and generate tension. The authors used a computational model of three-dimensional plant cells, to show that when these cells were pressurized, they expanded in depth while contracting in length, “like the way an air mattress expands in depth, when inflated, but contracts in width,” explains Richard Smith, a computer scientist at Max Planck Institute in Cologne.

Cell wall forms a hinge

Another unexpected finding was how this energy was released. The authors found that the fruit wall wanted to coil along its length to release tension, but it had a curved cross-section preventing this. “This geometric constraint is also found in a toy called a slap bracelet,” explains Derek Moulton, of the Mathematical Institute at the University of Oxford. In both the toy and the seed pod, the cross-section first has to flatten before the tension is suddenly released by coiling. Unexpectedly, this mechanism relies on a unique cell wall geometry in the seed pod. As Moulton explains, “This wall is shaped like a hinge, which can open,” causing the fruit wall to flatten in cross-section and explosively coil.

According to Hay, their most exciting discovery was the evolutionary novelty of this hinged cell wall. They had evidence from genetics and mathematical modeling that this hinge was needed for explosive pod shatter, “but the fact that we found this hinge only in plants with explosive seed dispersal was the smoking gun,” says Hay.

After working out how the seed pods of popping cress exploded, the scientists realised that this mechanism had evolved via tweaking the shape of already-existing cellular components. One implication of their findings is that other movements in plants that were previously attributed to passive contraction by drying, may in fact be active processes, “especially in green, hydrated tissues,” says Smith.

This study is an example of the potential of interdisciplinary research. The scientists built up a comprehensive picture of explosive seed dispersal by relating observations at the plant scale all the way down to the cellular and genetic scales, and systematically linking each scale. As Alain Goriely, of the Mathematical Institute at the University of Oxford, says, “this approach was only made possible by combining state-of-the-art modelling techniques with biophysical measurements and biological experiments.”

AH/HR

What Kind of Tree Produces Spiked Round Balls?

We’re not all trained arborists, so when we’re trying to evaluate landscaping it can be hard to know what types of established trees you have. If they’re large, they’ve probably been there for decades and you weren’t the one to plant it. Especially when they drop spiky seed pods (don’t walk around the yard barefoot—ouch!), it’s good to know what you’re working with.

Image zoom

Trees With Spiked Seed Pods

This tree could be one of several options: sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua), chestnut (Castanea), or buckeye/horsechestnut (Aesculus). All are common landscape trees and produce spiny pods around their seeds. The spines are produced by the tree to help protect the seeds from being eaten by critters like birds and squirrels. So which tree do you have in your yard?

Image zoom

Sweet Gum

Sweet gum has glossy green leaves with five lobes, similar to a sugar maple. Fall color is variable but can be quite dramatic, with a combination of yellows, reds, and purples. It produces spiny brown balls of fruit that drop off the tree over an extended period. The spiny fruit may be used in crafts projects or as mulch to deter rabbits in the garden. If you’ve stepped on one barefoot, you know how painful it can be!

Image zoom

Chestnut

American chestnut (Castanea dentata) used to be one of the most widespread native trees in North America, but fungus blight wiped out most of them. Chinese chestnut (C. mollissima) or hybrids between the two species are more likely to be found nowadays. Leaves are simple and toothed along the margins. Fruits consist of 1 to 4 nuts enclosed in prickly burs that split open into 2 to 4 valves. Fall color is yellow or bronze.

Image zoom

Buckeye

Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra) is usually a small to medium-size tree (20-40 feet tall) with palmately compound leaves with 5 leaflets. Common horsechestnut (A. hippocastanum) is 50-75 feet tall and usually has 7 leaflets rather than 5. Both bear 1 or 2 nuts in a prickly or spiny capsule that splits open. Ohio buckeye turns orange-red to reddish brown in fall; horsechestnuts turn yellow or brown.

  • By Jenny Krane

In a year when an aggressive strain of influenza has gripped the nation, the sweet gum holds out its fruit-laden limbs with its own humble contribution to humanity. The infertile seeds found in each of the sweet gum’s compound seed capsules are a naturally occurring source of shikimic acid, one of the main ingredients in the manufacture of Tamiflu. The internet is full of homegrown techniques to extract this valuable chemical from the tree’s seeds.

Generally considered a southern tree, the sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua) reaches the northernmost limits of its natural range along the coast not far north of New York City. Humans have transplanted this species extensively, so it can now be found growing as a street tree or even in any number of botanic gardens well outside its original range. But in New York City, the sweet gum is a fairly common sight, growing best where there is rich, loamy soil with good moisture.

Where conditions suit it, the tree can grow to mighty dimensions: nearly 75 feet tall with a spreading canopy. The sweet gum resembles a maple tree, and in the summer, the star-shaped leaves and sturdy trunk are impressive, if easily overlooked. It is only in winter, after the tree’s greenery has been shed, that the sweet gum’s finer points can truly be appreciated.

At this time of year, sweet gums stand out. The tree’s dark grayish brown twigs bear unusual, corky ridges that lend the tree a peculiar angularity. Additionally, the sweet gum’s spiky “gum balls” hang conspicuously from the tree’s smaller branches, sometimes all winter. These compound seed capsules are often confused with the seed heads of the American sycamore, or its London plane-tree hybrid, but the two are only superficially similar. The seed heads of the sycamore disintegrate as their seeds are dispersed; the sweet gum seed capsule, on the other hand, has a woody structure, and the gum balls are quite persistent. They can often be found in great numbers at the bases of the trees’ trunks, as well as along walking paths where they amuse or annoy dogs and their walkers, runners, picnickers and bike riders alike.

Sandbox tree

Sandbox tree, either of two species of large trees (Hura crepitans and H. polyandra) in the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae). They are among the largest trees of tropical America and are interesting for their pumpkin-shaped seed capsules that explode with a loud report, scattering the seeds. Sandbox trees are sometimes grown as boulevard trees but have disadvantages in their poisonous leaves, bark, and seeds and the explosions of their capsules, which have force enough to injure persons or livestock. H. crepitans is native through most of tropical America; H. polyandra, with white rather than red stamen clusters, is native from Mexico to Costa Rica. It is nearly 30 m (100 feet) tall with a girth of more than 1 m (3.3 feet). The trunk is studded with short, conical prickles. The long-stalked, dark-green leaves cover a round-crowned, high-branching tree. The globose seed capsules, grooved into 15 sections, are 7.6 cm (3 inches) in diameter and were used in colonial British West Indies as sandboxes for blotting ink. Some Mexican groups mix the poisonous latex with sand to stupefy fish.

  • Leaves and seed capsule of a sandbox tree (Hura crepitans).Walter Dawn
  • The trunk of a sandbox tree (Hura crepitans).© Gerald Singer
  • Conical prickles on the trunk of a sandbox tree (Hura crepitans).Paul Bolstad—University of Minnesota, Bugwood.org

While it may sound like something taken straight from the books of fiction, the Sandbox Tree (Hura Crepitans) is all too real for the scores of Central and South American farmers who’ve had their cattle injured by these explosive plants. Upon ripening, the fruit of the Sandbox tree will explode like a botanical hand-grenade carrying seeds up to 40m at 240kph, easily penetrating any animal or poorly placed window.

Advertisements Conical prickles on the trunk of a sandbox tree (Hura crepitans). Image source:

The Sandbox tree grows around 30 meters (100 feet) tall and 1 meter (3 feet) wide and is easily spotted by its bark which is adorned with deep brown spikes from base to crown. The natives of South and Central America have taken to decorating with the spikes using them as beads that can give anything from clothing to boxes a certain lethal beauty.

Image source:

The generally brownish-green fruit is distinct with its pumpkin shape and is about the size of an adult’s fist. As with about any fruit, the fruit of the Sandbox Tree is indeed edible, but it won’t go down without a fight. The ever so appetizing fruit of the Sandbox Tree contains seeds that will not hesitate to cause cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea, but they do make for a fabulous set of tribal earrings.

Leaves and seed capsule of a sandbox tree Image source:

As if the Sandbox Tree didn’t already have enough killing tools, natives also use the poisonous sap for incapacitating decent sized mammals or fish. The sap of Hura Crepitans causes gruesome red rashes when in contact with the skin and blindness when in contact with the eyes, making it quite a danger to handle.

Ranking consistently in the top 10 of dangerous plants, the Sandbox Tree isn’t much of a house, yard, garden, or really any type of plant that’s meant to be anywhere around people, but it’s a pretty darn cool oddity of nature.

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Scientific name

Hura crepitans (Sandbox Tree)

Hura crepitansL.

Synonyms

Hura brasiliensisL.

Common names

Sandbox tree, possumwood, monkey’s dinner bell, monkey’s pistol

Family

Euphorbiaceae

Origin

Hura crepitans is native to the tropical regions of North and South America in the Amazon Rainforest.

Naturalised distribution (global)

Locations within which Hura crepitans is naturalised include northern Australia and eastern Africa.

Introduced, naturalised or invasive in East Africa

In East Africa, Hura crepitans is invasive in parts of Tanzania (Tropical Biology Association 2010). The editors found no records of its occurrence in Kenya or Uganda, though this does not necessarily mean that it is absent from these countries.

Habitat

In its introduced range, Hura crepitans occurs in forest edges and gaps.

Description

Hura crepitans is a tree growing to 40 meters high. It can be distinguished by its many dark, pointed (conical) spines. Its common name ‘Monkey-no-climb is in reference to the characteristic spiny trunk.

The leaves are papery thin, heart-shaped and up to 60 cm long.

The berry look-alike structure is actually the male flowers that have no petals. Male flowers grow on long spikes; female flowers are solitary. Male flowers are ovoid to conical (5 by 2 cm), mostly dark red in colour. Flower stalks (pedicels) up to 10 cm long; female flowers without pedicel; fruiting pedicel pendant to 6 cm; fruit oblate (3-5 x 8-9 cm) in diameter, reddish brown on colour, concave at the tip and base, longitudinally grooved.

Fruits are pumpkin-shaped capsules, 3-5 cm in length with a diameter of 5-8 cm; it has 16 carpels arranged radially around the central axis. Seeds are flattened and about 2 cm in diameter.

Reproduction and dispersal

The fruit of Hura crepitans opens with an explosive sound into segments, hence the name ‘dynamite tree’. Seeds are dispersed up to 14 metres away.

Economic and other uses

Hura crepitans is cultivated for medicinal and ornamental purposes. The latex is used as arrow poison and is said to cause ailing teeth to fall out. As medicine, it treats skin diseases, rheumatism, intestinal worms and has been used in the United States of America to prepare tear gas; bark extract is used to treat leprosy and wood used in light construction.

Environmental and other impacts

The large leaves of Hura crepitans enable the plants to grow in deep shade, allowing the plant to establish in undisturbed forest outcompete indigenous vegetation. H. crepitans is among the 14 commoner causes of plant contact dermatitis in the Dominican Republic. Tree fellers have to cover their eye since the sap causes temporary blindness. The segments of the woody fruits can cause dermatitis when they are used in bracelets and necklaces.

Management

The precise management measures adopted for any plant invasion will depend upon factors such as the terrain, the cost and availability of labour, the severity of the infestation and the presence of other invasive species.

The best form of invasive species management is prevention. If prevention is no longer possible, it is best to treat the weed infestations when they are small to prevent them from establishing (early detection and rapid response). Controlling the weed before it seeds will reduce future problems. Control is generally best applied to the least infested areas before dense infestations are tackled. Consistent follow-up work is required for sustainable management.

The editors could not find any specific information on the management of this species.

Legislation

Not listed as a noxious weed by the state or governments in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Notes

The pumpkin-shaped fruit of Hura crepitans was once used for holding fine dry sand used for blotting ink before the introduction of blotting paper, hence the common name ‘sandbox tree’.

Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER). Hura crepitans: plant threats to Pacific ecosystems. Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, Hawaii, USA.www.hear.org/pier/species/hura_crepitans.htm. Accessed March 2011.

Editors

Agnes Lusweti, National Museums of Kenya; Emily Wabuyele, National Museums of Kenya, Paul Ssegawa, Makerere University; John Mauremootoo, BioNET-INTERNATIONAL Secretariat – UK.

Acknowledgments

This fact sheet is adapted from The Environmental Weeds of Australia by Sheldon Navie and Steve Adkins, Centre for Biological Information Technology, University of Queensland. We recognise the support from the National Museums of Kenya, Tropical Pesticides Research Institute (TPRI) – Tanzania and Makerere University, Uganda. This activity was undertaken as part of the BioNET-EAFRINET UVIMA Project (Taxonomy for Development in East Africa).

Contact

BioNET-EAFRINET Regional Coordinator: [email protected]

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