Are Caster Bean Plants in Landscaped Gardens Dangerous?

castor plant 225x300 Are Caster Bean Plants in Landscaped Gardens Dangerous?

When pruning, or removing Caster plants from either the garden, or woodlands the only part of the plant that is dangerous to humans is the seed. The seeds resemble in shape an engorged wood tick, for which their latin name was derived. Each seed is a shiny and wholly unique design much like a human fingerprint, and care must be taken to keep the seed pods away from inquisitive children and pets.

 


Caster bean plants are part of a poisonous but very useful family of plants, the Euphorbia family. Plants in this family include The Rubber tree, and Tapioca plant, but while the milky white sap from many of the plants from this family are poisonous, in the Caster plant this is not the case. The plant originates from Africa, but has become naturalized accidentally in many places across the United States. It is in no way an actual bean.

 


The best way to remove this plant is by hand, and the plant should be discarded from the seasonal garden in a plastic bag to prevent its spread. Seeds may be saved from year to year to replant, but in a natural setting the suggested method is complete removal, to prevent the plant from taking over habitat area useful for native plants.

Photos Courtesy of: mccheek,

Identifying and Controlling Poison Ivy

img 0237 225x300 Identifying and Controlling Poison Ivy

This year, the East Coast is experiencing an unbelievable boom in Poison Ivy! From woodsy borders, and the sides of the highways, to backyard fences, this American native plant is spreading at an amazing rate just since the spring of this year! Working in property management, I try to keep an eye open for future problems as they occur, and to maintain a balance between the people I work for, and the natural environment. I did some research into this unusual phenomenon, and discovered that I was not the only one who had made some links between the higher levels of rain, and stable temperatures, and the spread of this plant.

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