Castor Bean | Still Strong | Update 4

Our View From Iowa

Update 4: September 14, 2014

Links to the Original post, Update 1, and Updates 2 & 3.

The plant is now just short of 3 meters (~10 ft) tall. This view gives some perspective to the side of the house. The rain barrel is 1 meter tall.

castor16

Prickly pods bearing three beans each are abundant. The structure is 0.5 meters tall (~1.5 ft). The tops of two other stalks are also bearing bean pods. It will take a while for them to dry. We’ve had over 15 cm (6″) of rain the past two weeks. That is not typical for the midwest in September. This is our 4th wettest summer on record in Iowa. The bean plant and everything else continues to thrive on the moisture. I’m getting tired of mowing the lawn.

castor18

I watched an episode of Breaking Bad this week. Walter was intent on eliminating a drug…

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4 thoughts on “Castor Bean | Still Strong | Update 4

  1. I’ve been trying to figure out why this plant is known as castor, which was the Latin word for ‘beaver’. The Oxford Dictionaries site points out that castor is ‘a reddish-brown oily substance secreted by beavers, used in medicine and perfumes’. The American Heritage Dictionary conjectures that castor oil (and therefore the plant it comes from) might be so named from its use as a substitute for castor obtained from beavers. The Online Etymology Dictionary says: “Modern castor oil is first recorded 1746; it is made from seeds of the plant Ricinus communis but supposedly possesses laxative qualities (and taste) similar to those of beaver juice, and thus so named.”

    I don’t know whether either of those similar explanations is correct, but in the process of searching I found an informative article about the plant:

    http://faculty.ucc.edu/biology-ombrello/POW/castor_bean.htm

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