Dendrocnide excelsa — Giant Stinging Tree—URTICACEAE.

Dendrocnide excelsa

Link to Images on Flickr.

Habitat—In warmer rainforest on the coast and ranges.

Distribution— North from Bega,New South Wales (common in disturbed areas where it establishes very quickly; also as a smaller tree in drier rainforest in gullies in Hunter Valley and Liverpool Ranges) and Queensland.

Description—Tree to 40 m with fluted trunks; stinging hairs cause an intense persistent sting.

Local occurrences

Barrington/Gloucester Tops, Boorganna Nature Reserve, Coocumbac Island, Copeland and Wingham Brush.

Leaves.— Simple, alternate with stinging hairs. Lamina broad—ovate, usually 10 to 25 cm long, 7 to 20 cm wide, deeply cordate at base often with the two lobes overlapping, margins regularly toothed to almost entire on exposed leaves, usually covered with stinging hairs, especially the larger juvenile leaves; petiole mostly 5 to 15 cm long.

Dendrocnide excelsa
Dendrocnide excelsa Dendrocnide excelsa
Dendrocnide excelsa

Inflorescence— Unisexual, panicles to 12 cm long.


Fruit—Achene c. 2 mm long, warty, pedicel to 5 mm long and very fleshy, whitish, pink to purplish.


Dendrocnide excelsa