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ID - is this a type of cane begonia? (pic)

Posted by labsnabys z5 NV (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 25, 08 at 17:35

These were grown this spring from seeds sort of resembling pinto beans that a neighbor passed along. They are about 4 ft. tall. The closest I can find on the "A to Z of Flowers" web site is some type of cane begonia. I'm completely begonia-ignorant, so forgive me if I am way off base. Thanks to anyone who can help me ID this plant!


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RE: ID - is this a type of cane begonia? (pic)

I can gladly help you out on the I D of this plant. What you have is a Castor Bean plant. This is grown as an annual in most of the United States, but grows into a 40' tall tree in its native Africa! Yet it reproduces as a "seedling" in the Northeast. Amazing! NEVER eat the "beans" that are produced. These are dangerously poisonous. They are the source of ricin, a poison that has been used by terrorists to kill, even in minute amounts. So, NEVER allow young children to eat any part of this plant! Warnings aside, it is a splendid plant to enjoy in one's garden!


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RE: ID - is this a type of cane begonia? (pic)

Thank you for the speedy reply, palmfan! It sure is a splendid plant. Thank you for the warning about the beans...I never would have known that.


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RE: ID - is this a type of cane begonia? (pic)

FWIW--There is a begonia called B. ricinifolia--because it has leaves that look rather like Castor Beans. Beautiful plant--and so's yours. Ours reseeds a lot, but is easy to pull.


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RE: ID - is this a type of cane begonia? (pic)

Someone gave me some small castor bean plants once- they sprouted seed everywhere and were very invasive. I finished them off with roundup - never want them again - they tried to take up residence everywhere.


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