Castor Bean | Hard Freeze | Update 6

Our View From Iowa

Links to the Original post, Update 1, and Updates 2 and 3, 4, and 5

It was bound to happen. Cold air from the north arrived recently and killed the once tall and strong castor bean plant. It looked so sad. It will not regrow in the spring. I will see if the seeds are viable.

20141107_085035 November 8, 2014

The seeds never quite fully ripened. The prickly pods contain 3 in each. A few were starting to split. I cut off the long stalk of them for a closer look. Plus, they will be destroyed and not put out to the environment for animals or children to access. They are toxic.

2014_1107_03 Click to embiggen

Here are some close views of a seed pod followed by photos of the 3 seeds compartments and one of a seed exposed. I read where the seeds resemble a tick full of blood

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9 thoughts on “Castor Bean | Hard Freeze | Update 6

  1. My parents always had 2 or more castor bean plants. They reseeded I suppose because I remember them from most of my growing up years. I think the castor beans were tenacious since my mother did not have the luxury of extra water to grow things that needed pampering.

    We’ve not had a freeze yet here in Central Texas but I reckon a freeze is probably right around the corner.

    • I remember only one year we had one growing on the farm in Illinois. When I removed this one today from the garden, the roots were running horizontally up to 3 feet. It was a struggle.

      We have some very cold weather coming to IA this week. You might get some freezing temps.

  2. Poor plant, but it should definitely make a come-back in the spring. The seeds definitely look like ticks full of blood, as you say.

  3. ugh! You know, where I come from there are no ticks. My brother is visiting this week, and I asked him to confirm this unlikely miracle and he did. No ticks. I repeat, ugh.
    So sad to see how the mighty Castor Bean has frozen. Poor thing. But it had an adventure filled summer!

    • It was hard to get it out of the ground. Some roots were 3 ft across the ground. It took some prying and digging. I hope I don’t go out in the spring to find this.

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