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Sandbox Tree
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Euphorbiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Genus: Hura
Species: H. crepitans
Binomial name
Hura crepitans

The Sandbox tree (Hura crepitans; syn. Hura brasiliensis Wild.), also known as Possumwood and Jabillo, is an evergreen tree of the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae), native to tropical regions of North and South America in Amazon Rainforest. It is recognized by the many dark, pointed spines and smooth brown bark. These spines have caused it to be called Monkey no-climb.

Sandbox trees can grow to 100 ft, and the large ovate leaves grow to two feet wide. They are monoecious. The red flowers 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 (300 ft).[1] It has also been known as the Dynamite tree, so named for the explosive sound of the ripe fruit as it splits into segments.

This tree prefers wet soil, and partial shade or partial sun to full sun. It is often cultivated for shade.

Fishermen have been said to use the milky, caustic sap from this tree to poison fish. The Caribs made arrow poison from its sap.[2] The wood is used for furniture under the name "hura". Before more modern forms of pens were invented, the trees' unripe seed pods were sawed in half to make decorative pen sandboxes (also called pounce pots), hence the name 'sandbox tree'.

Hura crepitans is an additive to some forms of the hallucinogenic drink Ayahuasca.[3]



  1. ^ Feldkamp, Susan (2006). Modern Biology. United States: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. p. 618.  
  2. ^ Jones, David E (2007). Poison Arrows: North American Indian Hunting and Warfare. University of Texas Press. ISBN 9780292714281.  
  3. ^ Ayahuasca Analogues

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