Re: [gardeners] Martha's right!

penny x stamm (
Sat, 13 Oct 2001 23:52:15 -0400

Hi, Martha -- I was hoping that someone would come to my aid!

I do believe you've got it -- the name had two words, and began 
with a C.  And it rings a bell ....

>Castor Bean (Ricinus communis).  It is easily grown from seed and will 
>reach 12 feet in one summer here in NW Ok.   Martha ..>>>>

I must ask just which zone you are in..? 

The seeds are incredibly attractive. They are large, plump and shiny.
Same size as the beans we put into 3-bean salad.  Very shiny, as if
lacquered. The background color is black, but most of it is covered 
with a warm light brown kind of stripe, and with black scrolls 
presenting themselves at random. The end which was attached to the 
stem often retains a ring of pulp -- so what you have in your hand
looks like a beetle with a little head! 

The plants are stunning, but they are poisonous so they cannot be
planted when there are children around. In fact, when we were
weeding in that yard in August, I plucked a leaf from something
(we suspect that it was the ornamental oregano) and kind of
pressed it between my teeth and tongue.  Within a very short
time the inside of my mouth swelled up and became very
painful -- and remained that way for 5 days!  Now my daughter
keeps an eagle eye on me, so I will not repeat that fiasco! 

Penny, NY


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