WARNING! Stay Away!

Ysarex

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One of my neighbors likes to grow Ricinus communis (castor beans) as a ornamental plant. They do put on quite a show growing 10 to 15 feet tall.

In nature if you have developed a potent defense against predation it's common to advertise. I'd say this plant's seed pods are advertising their toxicity very effectively. The beans inside may be tempting but, you've been warned.

Joe

22662082292_7809d9be86_o.jpg
 

jaomul

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Spines and toxins, they seem like tough customers
 
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Ysarex

Ysarex

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Spines and toxins, they seem like tough customers

Castor beans are the source of the poison ricin. Ricin is so toxic that the US military (and others) have attempted to weaponize it. A deadly dose for an adult would be the size of a few grains of salt. It's sufficiently concentrated in the beans that 10 beans can contain a toxic dose for an adult. Children accidentally swallow the beans every year but in virtually all cases the beans are so tough they pass through their digestive tracks intact and harmless. When a household pet manages to chew on some beans however the outcome is less fortunate. They are commonly sold now by seed and plant vendors for ornamental use: Castor Bean (Ricinus) seeds

Joe
 

jaomul

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Interesting
 

FITBMX

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Nice photo, mean plant! ;)
 

deeky

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I've grown them the last couple of years. I actually like the foliage better than the blossoms.
 

k5MOW

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Picture looks great.
 
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Ysarex

Ysarex

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Nice photo, mean plant! ;)

Thanks.

I've grown them the last couple of years. I actually like the foliage better than the blossoms.

They're on a upswing in popularity. They certainly are an attention grabber. For you they have to be an annual unless you want to put them in a really big pot and bring them in for the winter. I understand they can reach 20 feet over a couple years.

Joe
 

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