Hura crepitans  L. Sandbox tree   Euphorbiaceae

The immature fruits of the sandbox tree, Hura crepitans, are hollowed out to hold sand to act as an ink blotter.  When the fruit matures it explodes with a bang and casts its seeds and woody sections on the ground.  Because of the loud noise associated with its explosion the tree is also called monkey pistol. The woody sections of these fruits from a forest tree which is distributed widely from Costa Rica to the Amazon basin are trimmed and polished and are made into ornamental jewelry.  In Hawaii they are made into leis.

 

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