I Grew the Most Poisonous Plant in the World


I like plants, especially unusual ones. This year I started a lot of ornamentals from seed, and one of them was the castor bean plant, which has been designated by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most poisonous plant in the world.


The danger comes from the seeds, which contain a protein called ricin. It only takes about three seeds taken orally to kill a human adult. Of course, it’s also the source of castor oil which is used medicinally for many things.


It might be a killer, but this plant is also highly interesting to look at. It’s sensitive to frost, so acts like an annual in this climate and grows extremely quickly, forming gigantic red and green leaves, small flowers and spiky seed clusters. I have one plant in the ground which will probably die back soon, but I also planted one in a pot so I could bring it inside and try to keep it alive over the winter. Should be interesting.