Ricinus communis - Banner
Image Information
Location: Searcy County, Arkansas
Month of Photograph: October
Distribution Map: Ricinus communis - Distribution Map Spacer
USDA, NRCS. 2012. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 16 January 2012). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA. Spacer Guests can be assured that there is established evidence that this plant has been found in all of the green filled counties of Arkansas. However, the white filled counties should not be interpreted as counties in which this plant does not grow. They should instead be interpreted as counties which lack officially sanction evidence of the plants presence there.

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Pistillate Flower above Staminate Flowers (not yet open)

Ricinus communis "
Not all images on this page were photographed on the same day or at the same location. The precise location and date that specific photographs were taken can be obtained by email.
Ricinus communis - Flower Pistillate Flower

I think that you will want to get to know more about this plant. Ponder this story for a bit.

In 1929 Georgi Markov was born in Bulgaria. He grew up to write poetry and novels that annoyed the Bulgarian communist leadership, and so in 1969 Georgi defected to Britain for safety sake.

Then on 7 September 1978 Georgi was waiting for his bus on his way to work at the BBC World Service when he suddenly felt a slight but sharp pain on the back of his right leg. When he turned to look behind him, he saw a man pick up an umbrella from the pavement and hurry across the street to a taxi. When he arrived at work he noticed a small red “pimple” at the place on his leg where he had felt the sting at the bus stop. He was soon admitted to the hospital where he died three days later.

Ricinus communis Pistillate Flower

During the autopsy which followed Georgi Markov's death, “The forensic pathologists discovered a spherical metal pellet the size of a pin head embedded in Markov's calf.” That “pin head” was less than six hundredths of an inch in diameter but it contained enough ricin inside it to kill the man.

Ricin is a naturally occuring chemical in the hull of the castor bean seed.

Wikipedia's article "Incidents Invloving Ricin" covers nineteen different events in which ricin was used or suspected of being stored for its toxic nature.

And finally, direct from the horse's mouth - the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Ricinus communis - LeafLeaf
Ricinus communis - Leaves and Stem Leaves and Stem
Ricinus communis - Stem Stem
Ricinus communis - InflorescenceInflorescence
Ricinus communis - FruitStaminate Flowers, not yet open
Ricinus communis - InflorescenceInflorescence
Entire Plant
Ricinus communis - Entire Plant

Pistillate Flowers
Ricinus communis - X