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Castor oil plant

JacquimcmahonJacquimcmahon Posts: 1,023
Hi everyone,

i have two beautiful castor oil plants which have produced loads of what I assume are seed pods. Does anyone know if it’s worth saving them and how to tell when they should be mature?

Marne la vallée, basically just outside Paris 🇫🇷, but definitely Scottish at heart.
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  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,877
    wait until the pods split open and save the seeds for next Spring.
    Devon.
  • HelixHelix Posts: 631
    But keep them well away from children and pets as they are poisonous. 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,877
    Helix said:
    But keep them well away from children and pets as they are poisonous. 
    so are rhubarb leaves
    Devon.
  • HelixHelix Posts: 631
    edited August 2019
    But rhubarb leaves (and many other poisonous things) are not as attractive to small children to pop into their mouths....castor oil seeds look a bit chocolate’y.

    (Remember Georgi Markov? The umbrella poisoning...that was ricin aka castor oil plant)
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,877
    edited August 2019
    Helix said:
    But rhubarb leaves (and many other poisonous things) are not as attractive to small children to pop into their mouths....castor oil seeds look a bit chocolate’y.

    (Remember Georgi Markov? The umbrella poisoning...that was ricin aka castor oil plant)
    So just don't leave small children unaccompanied in the garden. Why would you anyway?
    How many children / pets have been killed by them? Just curious!
    Devon.
  • HelixHelix Posts: 631
    More so in the US than here, as lots more castor oil plants.   But a handful of cases every year it seems. 

    Our kids were always allowed to play in the garden by themselves...obviously an adult wouldn’t be far off but they need some freedom.  They knew not to eat things from an early age. But I’m more talking about storing the seeds for next year. 

    Not sure why you seem to be implying that it’s foolish to warn someone about them?  It’s a matter of seconds to store them out of children’s reach, rather than in an open pot on a kitchen counter, so why not be safer? 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,877
    I've suggested no such thing. 
    Caution is good: paranoia is bad. 
    Who is likely to store seeds "in an open pot on a kitchen counter"?
    Devon.
  • A lovely plant, well done @Jacquimcmahon for getting it to grow so nicely.  We have grown them for the past few years after being given a small plant from a friend.  The bean pods on your plant look healthy and in time will turn crisp and brown up as @Hostafan1 has stated, when the beans (which are the seeds for next year's plants) will be visible and ready to harvest.  This picture was taken a year or two back, when the flowers were just forming on our Castor Oil plant, which then turn into the bean pods. They are fairly easy to grow from the bean although they like a bit of cosseting to get them going.
  • JacquimcmahonJacquimcmahon Posts: 1,023
    Thanks Guernseydonkey I grew these from seed this year as an experiment for using as “thrillers” in some of my tall planters.

    as my son is 17 I think I can count on him not to eat them🥑, and my terrace is not accessible to anyone other than us so there should be no risk.

    I will definitely keep the seeds now that I know when to collect them.
    Marne la vallée, basically just outside Paris 🇫🇷, but definitely Scottish at heart.
  • UpNorthUpNorth Posts: 376
    Keeping them over winter.....as any oily seed, they need a small amount of moisture or they'll dry out.  Plaggy bag, small amount vermiculite and a few thimbles of water should do it.  Keep sealed  in fridge and label poisonous.
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