Stinging Tree, Moonlighter, Stinger, Gympie Gympie


Hazard Information

Route: Skin     Plant Part: All

Scale: High

Causes painful sensation which can last for months. Potential nerve damage causes by chemicals from the


Common Name(s)

Strychnine Tree, Moonlighter, Stinger, Gympie Gympie

Latin Name

Dendrocnide moroides



grows as a single-stemmed plant reaching 1 to 2 metres in height. It has large, heart-shaped leaves that are about 12 to 22 cm long and 1118 cm wide, with finely toothed margins. The species is an early coloniser in rainforest gaps, seeds germinate in full sunlight after soil disturbance.


It is best known for stinging hairs which cover the whole plant and deliver a potent toxin when touched.


Stimulation of the nerves causing a painful sensation.  Secondary effects which can last for up to 4.5 months and can vary from person to person. Include burning sensations and electric shocks possibly caused by nerve damage cause by the chemical in the hairs.


Flowering Period



Native to rainforest areas in North Eastern Australia, the Moluccas and Indonesia.