Friday, October 14, 2011

Seed Heads

For those who don't recognize the above plant, these are the seedpods of the Castor bean.  Castor bean seeds contain a deadly poison called Ricin.  I'm always a little nervous handling these at the end of the season.  People worry about small children ingesting them, but the beans grow far enough off ground that most fears are ill-grounded.

Sunflower head
Gaillardia seed heads

Perennial Sweet Pea Pod - seeds are already dispursed - should I worry?

Purple millet - I assume the birds will like these come winter.
No this is not some alien life form it is Cleome gone to seed

Fuzzy little clematis seed head

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.


  1. Interesting photo's :) I've never seen some of them!

  2. Gardener: Castor beans grow as weeds along roadsides in Florida--often profusely. I often wondered if the beans could poison a small city if they grew densely near a drinking water source. I know ricin was used in the attack on the Tokyo subway a few years ago. I've never grown castor beans or had to face handling them, but they always intimidated me, as they do you.

  3. I think dead things and these seed pod thingys you are showing are just as interesting and artistically pleasing as in the flower and green season. I'm wondering, though,if castor beans are not tainted by the poison in their seeds? Of course, there's arsenic in apple seeds. Mmm.

  4. Great idea for post and great photos.
    I like the cat tails best.

  5. These are great. You've made me look at seedheads in a new way.


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