Monday, 9 September 2013

Jack must have climbed this bean plant: overy 3 m tall!

UPDATE: it's too tall for my 3m tape measure!

Castor bean plant (Ricinus communis)
I saved the seed in a jar all winter.
The dried husks protect the black bean inside.

How do they start? With a seed!
March 26 - took a month to germinate!
For my regular readers, you might recall the 2012 bean plant. I saved the seeds from the plant last fall. Poisonous, if the seed coat is penetrated, they have been used in assassinations over the years. Animals can get to them, like rabbits who visit my garden. I carefully harvest them.

The ricin within the seed is water soluble. We know about poisonous plants (natural and invasive species) such as the Giant hogweed, Poison ivy and oak, Marsh Marigold, and the latest I've found: Wild parsnip, and Water parsnip. I'm on a course of Prednisone for boils the size of toonies. Self-inflicted, as I told them in the ER. Playing in the frog pond. They took hold when the pond dried up in the drought last year. 

Aug. 14th, 2012, it flowered
I planted the seeds early (April), about 5 in a pot. Only one germinated indoors, and I subsequently planted the entire pot of soil outdoors. The first plant grew well until two others began to sprout and the first one died. (?) The other two have been growing like stink. By September 1st, it has grown to 2.7 m tall, the 'wing span' of the largest leaf in 87 cm.
Daisy guards the first bean plant

Yep: 87 cm (34") wing tips to wing tip.
Cat on the cedar rail fence on the left.
wasp dwarfed by the leaf!
I planted these later, and they
just didn't grow as much.
Likely they needed more sun!

growing and growing

It's beautiful!
It dwarfs my hydrangea.
2.6m tall Sep. 1


Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Easy to see how the fairy tale made sense to people!

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
The castor oil plant is a noxious weed in OZ - too many children enjoying the seeds (not actually beans) as well as the fact it has invaded and overgrown native habitats. Of course it is a valid cash crop for medicinal compounds (including poisons). I have seen them grow to tree-like proportions. Here in India it is native.

I have been a tad curious about your recent reference to Water Parsnip as I grew up knowing that to be a safe and edible herb... but parents were always warning us to be sure it wasn't hemlock. I had to refresh my memory on it and you may find this article

Water parsnip has a lovely fresh taste when steamed, a bit like a cross between a strong carrot and young parsnip. Granny used to make a soup with it and called it "tinker stew" - (which I think meant we had no money and had to live like the homeless!) But if you don't know the plant for sure - I definitely don't advise this!!!!

Very sorry to hear of the boils - the Homoeopathic Physician in me wants to reach out and help...difficult from half a globe away &<

...have been meaning to say how beautiful your new banner picture is too! Very relaxing to look into. Hugs, YAM xx

Kay L. Davies said...

Yam is right, your lovely banner is very restful.
Now, don't try eating water parsnip if it gives you boils. Never a good idea. Don't even try boiling it for revenge. LOL
Things that grew in Scotland during Yamini's youth can be completely different from things that grow in your frog pond.
Yamini is a dear, but she tends to cluck and fuss. If I am ever old and sick and single, you and Yam can take care of me, okay?
Luv, K