Tropical and deadly

DAY 14 (19 APR) – Castor bean plant (Vejer de la Frontera, Spain)

Found this exotic plant growing on wasteland by a car park. It’s all over the hillsides here.

It’s a castor bean – indigenous to East Africa, but has spread along the Mediterranean. Love the star-shaped leaves and wine-red stems.

The clue’s in the Latin name ricinus communis. The seeds, which burst out of these spiky red pods, contain ricin: thousands of times more poisonous than a rattlesnake bite.

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