castor-bean

Botanical illustrations are one of my favorite things. Here are some creepy poisonous plants (and a lone fungi.) I might try growing some of these little guys this coming spring in my garden. You wouldn’t believe how easily you can find seeds for these online.

In other news I’m going to be attending NecroComicCon this February!! I’ll be in the artist alley selling prints and tabling with the incredibly talented Abigail Larson! There are still tickets selling so if you get a chance and are going to be in the New Jersey neighborhood come and chat with us!  ♥

Pollen from a variety of common plants as seen through an electron microscope: sunflower (Helianthus annuus), morning glory Ipomoea purpurea, hollyhock (Sildalcea malviflora), lily (Lilium auratum), primrose (Oenothera fruticosa) and castor bean (Ricinus communis). The image is magnified some x500, so the bean shaped grain in the bottom left corner is about 50 ¼m long. The photo was taken at the Dartmouth Electron Microscope Facility, Dartmouth College. (Date of Image: Unknown).

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This is a Castor Bean Plant.

I shot this today in my backyard.
 
They grow well over 9 feet in height and resemble a Japanese Maple.
Beautiful foliage and a architectural stance lends itself to a modern focal point in any landscape.
I will be removing it from my property tomorrow. Not too long ago I found out that the seeds contained within the ‘horton hears a who’ pod are toxic to animals and humans.  The seed look like a variegated black-eyed pea.
It only takes one ingested seed to kill an infant or family pet.
4 to 5 will kill an adult human.

Find out more here: http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/toxicagents/ricin.html

Sad to see this beautiful plant go…but it is not worth the risk.

© 2013 debora smail

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The raw castor beans are the most toxic part of this plant, due to its presence of ricin. The leathel dose in adults is considered to be 4-8 seeds, due to this it is sometimes known as the most poisonous plant in the world.

Symptoms of an overdose from ricin, can include nausea, diarrhea, tachycardia, hypotension and seizures persisting for up to a week. If ingested, symptoms may not occur for at least 36 hours although they do commonly begin within 2-4hours.Symptoms of ingestion can include a burning sensation in mouth and throat, abdominal pain, purging and bloody diarrhoea. Within several days severe dehydration may occur, a drop in blood pressure and a decrease in urine. Unless treated, death can be expected to occur within 3–5 days, however in most cases a full recovery can be made.
 
Poisoning occurs when animals, including humans, ingest broken seeds or break the seed by chewing: intact seeds may pass through the digestive tract without releasing the toxin. Toxicity varies among animal species: four seeds will kill a rabbit, five a sheep, six an ox or horse, seven a pig, and eleven a dog.

Castor bean (Ricinus communis)

A musical fruit if you’re into funeral dirges.

Castor beans, the seed of the Ricinus communis plant, aren’t actually beans, but they’re close enough that the name stuck. Ricinus communis produces castor oil, which is used for a wide variety of medical uses: a laxative, a skin conditioner, and an antibacterial/antimicrobial agent are just a few of its many jobs.

The bean, though? Well, it’s pretty good for killing political dissidents.

Keep reading

What is this fascinating plant? When a visitor asked me about it this morning, I didn’t have a clue. After consulting Bright Spots, I now know it’s Castor Bean (Ricinus communis). It’s in the Healing Garden because Castor oil extracted from the seeds finds its way into many drugstore products, but the “beans” are toxic in their natural form & shouldn’t be touched. Its bright stems & pom-pom flowers invite closer inspection. ~Victoria, Membership

Poison has always been a long-standing friend and accomplice of the assassin, but none are more recognized as such like the infamous Castor Bean plant. This plant has made head way in both the entertainment industry and conspiracy theory sector. It draws the attention of the FBI, RCMP and the average home gardener. With showy red or green leaves and irresistible red seedpods this native Albertan plant contains ricin and oh goodness is it dangerous.

It is said to be used in terrorist and assassination attempts but do not fear as the only way for the poison to take full effect is for it to be careful extracted from the seeds of the plant and then infected directly into the victims blood stream.

In this embroidery (4 x 4 ft) which is featured on found upholstery fabric and embellished with discarded threads plays off of the idea of the assassin’s choice of murder weapon.

Castor bean: DO NOT EAT

Just planted two castor bean plants, from which you get both castor oil and ricin, in an open area where I can keep an eye on ‘em. This’ll be nightmare fuel for days.

Kinda surprised that the nursery I got them from, which is a pretty reputable place that’s gotten big in the area marketing organic gardening classes and selling chickens and that sort of wholesome thing…not only didn’t keep them behind glass in a locked cabinet like aerosol spray paint in the art store, but didn’t even mention anywhere on the label or the sign that these little guys were “THE WORLD’S MOST POISONOUS PLANT”.

Of course, that last is A. from USA Today and B. from 2006 and the angle they were pushing was terrorists are coming for your landscape plants. On a more reasonable note, the seeds are the most poisonous part of the plant, and you can avoid having to worry about those by just deadheading the spent flowers rather than allowing them to develop into pods. (Still pretty horrifying to read the castor bean section on, I think, Dave’s Garden, with at least one person asking what they should do if they wanted to make lotion from the deadly seeds, should they just, you know, mash up these seeds in a blender? WTF NO DON’T DO THAT.)