Botanical Wednesday: Enough, Australia, you’re getting carried away

Even the trees are vicious? And not really trees at all?

Australia has a parasite believed to be the largest in the world, a tree whose greedy roots stab victims up to 110m away. The Christmas tree (Nuytsia floribunda) has blades for slicing into the roots of plants to steal their sap. The blades are sharp enough to draw blood on human lips. They cause power failures when the tree attacks buried cables by mistake. Telephone lines get cut as well.


  1. DrewN says

    Remind me again which edition of the Monster Manual Australia bases it’s flora & fauna on?

  2. brucej says

    You have it backwards…The Monster Manual was published as a D&D Manual only because no one believed Gary’s original Biology PhD dissertation “Flora and Fauna of Australia: It Will All Kill You Dead In Your Nightmares” wasn’t fiction :-)

  3. indianajones says

    As an Aussie, I’d like to say that I think we have acquitted ourselves well for lack of large, land based, alpha predators. Lions and Tigers and Bears oh pffft!

  4. says

    Fortunately my own garden is separated from this monster by 2000 kilometres of desert, including the aptly named Nullarbor Plain

  5. says

    “The blades are sharp enough to draw blood on human lips.”

    What…exactly was someone doing when this discovery was made?

  6. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Does this remind anyone else of an episode of WTF, Evolution?

    To be fair, WTF, Evolution? was always a bit over focussed on Metazoans. Maybe Law & Order: Special Vegetation Unit?

  7. astro says

    um, could someone please tell me why australians are kissing this parasitic plant? i’m a little unclear on the process/fetish that resulted in the determination that “The blades are sharp enough to draw blood on human lips.”