15 October 2007

Castor Bean,

CASTOR BEANS , Ricinus communis, conveniently grow their own male and female flowers on the same plant.

A native of tropical Africa, the plant is grown for the production of Castor oil. Cornell University outlines the poisonous nature of all its parts.

This spring, I planted them everywhere there was a mole tunnel. It was too late for some of my plants - the moles had eaten off their roots before I could do anything about it.

Every Castor bean plant is now a minimum of 4-feet tall. Others in the garden are at least 8 and 10-feet tall.

Photo: The red flowers toward the top

of the Castor bean plant, are the females.


Photo: The brown flowers toward the bottom
of the Castor bean plant are the male flowers.


Today, we spent several hours taking fall leaves out of flower beds and whacking the slugs that were under them. Luckily, most of our house guests love to work outside and always pitch in asking, "What can I do outside?"
Last night when that windy storm blew through, it gave us three-fourths of an inch of rain. The Italian beans grew 6-inches overnight; the cucumbers are making tiny fruit and blooming their hearts out in spite of the fall insect infestations and cooler temperatures.

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