Also refers to the plant which bears this seed. This plant is a rather large shrub, with branches that are fleshy when young, but become woody later, and huge palmate leaves. This plant is a fast grower; in some cases it grows wild in riparian areas where it doesnt belong. It bears interesting seeds which are quite toxic (and apparently used to produce castor oil which was once used in medicine). This plant is extremely deadly and shouldn't be planted near where children play. It has even been known to cause skin allergies upon contact, much as poison oak does. In general, i dont really recommend it as a landscape plant at all because there are much better similar shrubs which are just as hardy but nicer and non-toxic.

Cas"tor bean" (?). Bot.

The bean or seed of the castor-oil plant (Ricinus communis, or Palma Christi.)


© Webster 1913.

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