Palmate plant in zone 5-6.

poaky1August 24, 2013

My dog has gotten diagnosed with diabetes. I went several days to visit him and noticed a house along the country road to the vet hosp had a plant in summer that was PALMATE. KIt wasn't a Japanese Maple, BUT HAD PALMATE LEAVES WITH PURPLE BERRIES. So what is it?

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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Could it be a Castor Bean (Ricinus) plant? If you could get a photo it would help. How tall was it?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 7:48AM
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I just went today to get 2 more bottles of insulin for my pooch. It is probably Castor bean. The leaves are Purple and about 4-5 ft tall in AUGUST. I have heard of them being used as tropical looking garden plants. I also know they are poisonous. We have lots of cats and dogs, so I won't use them near the house. I was thinking that maybe it was Rhubarb, but it isn't Rhubarb. I need to get a Japanese maple next spring. Aldi's has them for about $13.00 in early spring.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 1:27AM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Yes they are poisonous but no more so than many other common plants like yew, ivy, lily-of-the-valley and wisteria, to name just a few. They just seem to have gotten more bad press than some other plants. I don't think a pet would eat the seeds anyway.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 12:23PM
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Thanks Bill, I have a couple of the plants mentioned none of our cats got into them. It looks like the same plant I saw. I will need to remove the berries though. We have cats that prowl the yard, those berries are pretty large..

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 12:47AM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Cats are smart enough not to eat them though. Funny I forgot you mentioned Rhubarb in one of your posts, and the leaves of those are poisonous too. So are daffodils......and the list goes on. Anyway, Castor beans do add a definite tropical effect as summer annuals. Cannas also produce a nice tropical look, but you have to dig the rhizomes out every fall. They store easily in a paper bag in a cool (not freezing) dark, dry place. I keep mine in the basement. There are many varieties with all colors of flowers, and many with beautiful leaves too.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 6:02AM
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