Castor Bean | Poisonous | Growing Tall

These photos were taken August 10, 2014. Castor Bean (Ricinus communis) was growing tall and strong. The top of the plant was 5 feet high. Yes, I do understand this plant is toxic.

August 10, 2014 | 5 ft tall

August 10, 2014 | 5 ft tall

I remember that my mother grew some of these on the farm in Illinois when I was a kid. Their height of 10 – 12 feet was very impressive to a small boy.

Two inch wide stalk

Two inch wide stalk

Some of the leaves are 2 feet wide. I like their pronounced vein structure. They are casting shade on the smaller pepper plants below.

Leaves are at least 2 ft wide

Leaves are at least 2 ft wide

I was a skinny little kid. Mom was concerned that I was not eating enough. The doctor advised her to give me a daily large spoonful of castor oil just before the main meal. It turned out to be good medicine. It tasted so bad, I decided food was a better alternative. Very clever advice, doc. Did you know that the cartoon characters, Tom and Jerry, included awful tasting castor oil in one of their cartoons.

More details can be found at this link. Updates to growth progress will come later.

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17 thoughts on “Castor Bean | Poisonous | Growing Tall

  1. Steve Gingold

    Most plants are worth the soil and air they use but, although toxic, these are beauties to have around and the textures in the leaves are fantastic and deserving of much study.

    Reply
    1. Jim in IA Post author

      The plant is really impressive in how big and strong it is. There are ants that are on it most of the time. I hope they don’t become toxic monster ants and eat us out of house and home.

      Reply
  2. OceanDiver

    Beautiful plant, almost tropical looking. I like the purple accents and stems. Definitely worth growing in your yard, and I’ll be interested to see what it grows into, the flowers and seed pods. Nice project!

    Reply
    1. Jim in IA Post author

      Thanks. Today, I took a picture of the flower bud stem rising up at the top. It will be included in an update later.

      It is kind of exciting to watch it week to week.

      Reply
  3. shoreacres

    You often show things I remember from my Iowa days, but this is a new one for me. There are several tropical landscape plants here that attain this kind of size, but I really do like the leaves on this plant. It’s a beauty. Actually, the color of the stems, and the veining of the leaves, reminds me of rhubarb.

    Reply
    1. Jim in IA Post author

      Yes, it does have a rhubarb-by look. In fact, there is a rhubarb plant not 3 ft from it in the shade. Maybe they will cross breed and make an alien plant worthy of the best scifi thriller. I’d better keep the video camera ready.

      Reply
  4. Alex Autin

    What an interesting plant. I love the large leaves! I can’t help but be reminded, though, of the ‘rice and bean’ (ricin bean) episodes of Breaking Bad. 🙂

    Reply

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