Castor Bean | Growing Taller | Update 1

Update: August 25, 2014

The castor bean plant is now over 7 feet tall. This picture is from the same spot as one take in the previous post two weeks ago. See farther down this page. Click on the image to see a much larger version.

Over 7 feet tall August 24, 2014

Over 7 feet tall August 24, 2014 – click to enlarge

Ten days ago, I photographed the emerging seed bearing parts at the top. They weren’t flowering yet.

Emerging seed parts - August 14, 2014 - click to enlarge

Emerging seed parts – August 14, 2014 – click to enlarge

Today, the seeds are more developed. The field of view is a foot tall. They will be watched over to keep children and animals from eating them.

Seed parts and flowering - August 24, 2014 - click to enlarge

Seed parts and flowering – August 24, 2014 – click to enlarge

For a sense of size, I placed my hand near the main stalk about 4 feet off the ground. There is a large black ant near the bottom of the picture. I hope they don’t become monster ants from eating the toxic juices of the plant. There could be a sci-fi thriller in the future if that happens. Watch this space.

August 24, 2014

August 24, 2014 – click to enlarge for details


As Previously Posted:

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.


14 thoughts on “Castor Bean | Growing Taller | Update 1

  1. shoreacres

    That’s one fine plant. It’s really attractive, and pretty amazing as far as its growth habits. You almost could put a lawn chair out there and watch the darned thing grow. That wouldn’t be the worst way to spend an afternoon.

    1. Jim in IA Post author

      It is amazing to watch the progress. I will be watching the beans to see how they develop.

      As to sitting under it, I will leave that as a gedanken experiment. 🙂

  2. Steve Gingold

    ’tis a fine looking plant to be sure. And a plant with a split personality as well. Castor Bean Oil…….good. The Ricin contained in the bean…not so good.
    Maybe you should be thinking of creating a tale…”Jim and the Beanstalk”

  3. OceanDiver

    Wow, that thing is getting as big as a tree! Gorgeous colors. The emerging flowers make it evident, if the leaves didn’t already say so, that this “bean” is not in the bean family (legumes). Cool project.

  4. Pingback: How to Get Rid of Gophers without Using Harmful Chemicals - News About Pets

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