Canna flowers

I generally grow cannas for their foliage, but the flowers on these are pretty nice too. They’re in containers this year (including a big, heavy concrete/hypertufa one I made last year to resist blowing over), but plan to put most of them in a bed next to the water garden next year where they should stay nice and wet without watering them every day or so.

Canna flower

Canna flower

Print Friendly

Ricinus communis

Ricinus communis (Castor bean)

A friend once asked me why I bothered growing castor beans. Well if not for the foliage, the architectural form, or those cute fuzzy seed pods, maybe it was just to make sure I got on a terrorist watchlist somewhere for being a regular purchaser of seed.

The plant is highly poisonous (hence deer-resistant) and the beans can be processed to make a very potent poison. (A local seed company reported a big sale of seed to some guy who turned out just to be disturbed, not dangerous.) From the Cornell poisonous plants website:

In 1978, ricin was used to assassinate Georgi Markov in 1978, a Bulgarian journalist who spoke out against the Bulgarian government. He was stabbed with the point of an umbrella while waiting at a bus stop near Waterloo Station in London. They found a perforated metallic pellet embedded in his leg that had presumably contained the ricin toxin.

Castor bean

Castor bean

Print Friendly