Five of the most ferocious spiky trees on Earth

1. Floss Silk Tree

Floss Silk Tree

“The floss silk tree, first on the list of ferocious specimens, is a species of deciduous tree native to the tropical and subtropical forests of South America. It has a host of local common names, such as palo borracho (in Spanish literally “drunken tree”). It belongs to the same family as the baobab and the kapok. Quite why it has evolved to carry such a multitude of dangerous spiky thorns is unclear, but it is most definately not advisable to try climbing one.

Floss Silk Tree 2

“The natural habitat of the floss silk tree is the north-east of Argentina, Paraguay, and southern Brazil. It is resistant to drought and moderate cold. It grows fast in spurts when water is abundant, and sometimes reaches more than 25 m in height. Its trunk is bottle-shaped, generally bulging in its lower third, measuring up to 2 m in girth. It is studded with thick conical prickles…In younger trees, the trunk is green due to its high chlorophyll content, which makes it capable of performing photosynthesis when leaves are absent; with age it turns to gray.”

2. Kapok Tree

Kapok tree

The Kapok is a tropical tree, native to Mexico, Central America and northern South America. the Maya people considered Ceiba pentandra a sacred tree upholding the world, with roots going down into the underworld. Ancient incense burners and burial urns, discovered in Maya area, feature Kapok spikes motifs, up and down their sides. The fibers contained by the flowers of the Kapok are used to fill mattresses, pillows, stuffed toys, its seed oil is used in the making of soap, and the gum of the Kapok is a traditional stomach ailment. Luckily, the sharp thorns of the tree fall down as it ages.

3. Sandbox Tree

Sandbox Tree

The Sandbox Tree could cause you harm from 300 feet away, making it the most ferocious member of the tree world. The dark thorns coming out of its bark, give the Sandbox Tree an ominous look, but its real weapons are the pumpkin-shaped fruit that literally explode, very loudly, when ripe, launching seeds 300 feet in every direction, at a speed of 150 miles per hour. If that sounds dangerous, then eating one of these bullet-like seeds can be even moreso, causing serious stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, impaired vision and a fast heartbeat. Eat two, and you can add delirium, convulsions, and even death. The yellow sap causes inflammation, in contact with the skin, and causes temporary blindness, if rubbed on the eyes. This is one nasty tree.

Sandbox Tree 2

4. HoneyLocust


The Honey Locust tree is native to eastern parts of the USA, from southern South Dakota to New Orleans and central Texas. This terrifying looking spiky monster displays lots of 3-4 inch long thorns that can cause serious lacerations, to anyone getting too close. They grow on the trunk and lower branches, probably evolving as a defense mechanism against animals that fed on its bark. The thorns of the Honey Locust are often to blame for foot injuries, as they tend to go right through soft sole shoes and int the foot. Also, if you drive past one of these trees, you have the chance of getting flat tires very often. Some even claim to have seen large birds impaled by the thorns.

5. Pejibaye Palm

Pejibaye Palm

The Pejibaye Palm tree is one of the most dangerous-looking of trees with thousands of long, sharp thorns covering its entire trunk. Native to Central American countries like Costa Rica or Nicaragua, the Pejibaye is grown for its miniature coconut fruits, highly appreciated for their taste. Reaching the clusters of tiny fruit is not easy, but the locals have devised a technique that requires scraping off portions of the bark. The long, black thorns of the Pejibaye Palm have always been considered more of a blessing that a curse, and highly prized. Indigenous tribes have used them to fashion weapons, and today they are still used to make needles and fishhooks.

Pejibaye Palm 2

Article publié pour la première fois le 01/07/2014

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