Australia’s giant parasitic Christmas tree, with blades sharp enough to cut telephone wire

Here’s a fascinating plant in honor of Fascination of Plants Day #PlantDay

Photo by Tim Low

By Tim Low, published in Australian Geographic

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….. Read more

For more on parasitic plants, don’t miss the new Teaching Tool in Plant Biology “It’s not easy being not green: The making of a Parasitic Plant” by David Nelson and Caitlin Conn.


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *