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Castor Beans

Discussion in 'Foraging' started by Peanut, Nov 1, 2019.

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  1. Nov 1, 2019 #1

    Peanut

    Peanut

    Peanut

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    Ricinus comunis aka castor bean plant… It’s an introduced species to the US. It grows in about 20 states. https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=RICO3

    I found it growing wild on a powerline a few weeks ago. I’d never seen it before, took me a couple of hours to figure it out.

    A friend sent me some links. It seems it’s a good plant for honey bees and a bad plant for moles and other burrowing mammals. Ever hear of Castor Oil? Yep, it’s the source… It was used to lubricate internal combustion engines in the early 1900’s… a very useful plant.

    https://www.beeculture.com/the-useful-and-versatile-castor-bean-plant/

    I intended to wait until later to harvest seed but after the heavy frost last night I got a few seed pods today just in case. I want to grow it here on the farm next year. Maybe these seeds will be okay.

    The first 4 photos are before the frost. The last 4 I took today after the frost.

    Castor Beans 02 (1).jpg Castor Beans 02 (2).jpg Castor Beans 02 (3).jpg Castor Beans 02 (4).jpg Castor Beans 02 (5).jpg Castor Beans 02 (6).jpg Castor Beans 02 (7).jpg Castor Beans 02 (8).jpg


    This is a highly poisonous plant, care must always be with such plants. My advice, if you don’t know how to handle extremely toxic plants… avoid them. In my opinion this warning is never strong enough in foraging and plant books. Within 10 miles of my home there are at least 8 plants that will kill people quicker than the castor bean. Half of those never get mentioned in print. So please be careful out in nature.
     
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  2. Nov 1, 2019 #2

    phideaux

    phideaux

    phideaux

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    Never seen any castor plants in my area.
    I know they have stuff with castor oil in to put on yard to chase away moles.

    Jim
     
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  3. Nov 1, 2019 #3

    Amish Heart

    Amish Heart

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    I have castor seeds. Haven't planted them. My cousin has grown them and said to always use gloves with them. He uses them for a mole deterrent.
     
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  4. Nov 2, 2019 #4

    Just Cliff

    Just Cliff

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    It's also the main ingredient for ricin.
    Wikipedia:
    Ricin , a lectin (a carbohydrate-binding protein) produced in the seeds of the castor oil plant, Ricinus communis, is a highly potent toxin. A dose of purified ricin powder the size of a few grains of table salt can kill an adult human. The median lethal dose (LD50) of ricin is around 22 micrograms per kilogram of body weight if the exposure is from injection or inhalation (2 milligrams for an average adult). Oral exposure to ricin is far less toxic as some of the poison is inactivated in the stomach. An estimated lethal oral dose in humans is approximately 1 milligram per kilogram.
     
  5. Nov 2, 2019 #5

    kd4ulw

    kd4ulw

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    Also, no cure for Ricen poisoning. I’m not smart enough to be handling that and many other of nature’s surprises.
     
  6. Nov 2, 2019 #6

    camo2460

    camo2460

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    There are a Number of Plants out there that are just not worth messing with, and the Castor Plant is one of them. I have had personal experience with the Castor Bean and Ricin, believe me when I say that the Toxin is absolutely LETHAL, don't play with this one.
     
  7. Nov 13, 2019 at 6:44 AM #7

    Patchouli

    Patchouli

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    It looks invasive.
     
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  8. Nov 15, 2019 at 1:40 PM #8

    camo2460

    camo2460

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    Yeah Castor Bean is often used in Landscape Ornamentals, and spread out from there.
     
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