Monday, 8 April 2013

Anatomy of a Bean Plant: seed to tall giant

March 26 - took a month to germinate!
Castor bean plant (Ricinus communis)
How do they start? With a seed!

I may have started the process too early. At least only one germinated, and they aren't crowding the pot!
April 15th - 3 more!
UPDATE: Three more seeds have sprouted!

They are amazing plants. Quite poisonous, but nobody eats my seeds, as I gather them carefully. NOBODY is allowed in my garden! 
Daisy sits in the sun, Bean Plant behind her!
April 4th

They contain ricin, which causes the blood to coagulate. Many, in overseas spydom, used poison to assassinate those they didn't like. Some used the bean for suicide.

In 1978, ricin was used to assassinate Georgi Markov in 1978, a Bulgarian journalist who spoke out against the Bulgarian government. He was stabbed with the point of an umbrella while waiting at a bus stop near Waterloo Station in London. They found a perforated metallic pellet embedded in his leg that had presumably contained the ricin toxin. 

We know about poisonous plants (natural and invasive) such as the Giant Hogweed, Poison Ivy and Oak, and Marsh Marigold, but this one surprised me!

More information describing this plant is available under the government listing for Ricinus communis.
March 27

The seed coat must be damaged to allow water to penetrate the seed interior, thus releasing the water-soluble toxin ricin. Most reported cases of animal poisoning have occurred overseas where the seed is used as food and, if improperly treated, has caused illness and death. 

August: Bean plant grows on the left,
whilst Buster tries to reach the bird feeder!
June 14
-frost hits it in the fall
This is the smaller plant.
It needs much sun.
Seed pods in August


EG CameraGirl said...

I hope your seed grows into a vigorous plant. They certainly are handsome in the garden.

Phil Slade said...

What a fascinating post Jennifer. Initially I thought "if its poison why grow it?" but when I saw your grown specimen I knew why as it is so attractive.

Dana said...

Beautiful plant! Growing one certainly seems well worth it.

I hope you had a nice Monday. ☺

Anonymous said...

I had no idea the seeds were so poisonous. I use castor oil on my kids' hair.

Minoru Saito said...

Hi! It looks very cute. But a little bit fearful. Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

Barrie said...

I had no idea it was poisonous! I always learn something on your blog. ;)

Judy said...

I love that first image of the bean plant coming out of the soil!!