WONDER or POISON

The Castor Oil  Plant ( English) or The WONDER Tree as it is often called is also the source of a deadly naturally occurring POISON. ( Ricin

Ominously located close to an old medieval period graveyard in the midst of an Arboretum in Sunder Nursery, New Delhi  I spotted the Castor Oil Plant growing wild.

the graveyard
A dark forgotten graveyard in Sunder Nursery

The Wonder Tree ( English), Arandi ( Hindi), Ricinus communis ( Scientific name) is native to India and can be seen growing wild alongside highways throughout the country.

It belongs to the  Castor family, Euphorbiaceae and thus related to the Spicy Jetropha .( do read my blog A bit of Cuba in India)

castor growing wild
The Wonder Plant grows wild

The Wonder Tree is a rich source of  Castor Oil , once a magical cure for numerous human ailments.

The leaves and roots are also used in the treatment of piles, stem the flow of blood and reduce inflammations.

The Wonder does not end with the medicinal properties, the Plant also sports  flowers  of two colours on the same Stem.

tow colour one plant
Female flowers on Top

The red female flowers in the featured image are at the top of the stem and the yellow male flowers below.( see picture that follows) .

The placement ensures that pollen does not accidentally fertilize the flowers on the same stem.

The bell like buds of the male flowers are protected by a canopy of large serrated leaves.

little bells of yellow
Little bells or buds of male flowers

The spiked green fruit will turn brown with maturity and the seeds will be expelled from the lobes.

The seeds or beans are a source of Castor Oil which is even used in Brazil as a Biodiesel.

the fruit
Castor fruits or containers of Poison

After extracting  the poison Ricin the beans also replace the Cocoa bean to make Chocolate Bars.

Is it not a Wonder that how a plant with one of the deadliest poisons of which even One milligram can be fatal to an Adult Human can be a miracle cure for many ailments as well.

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Published by

mukul chand

51 year old entrepreneur who has traveled extensively around the world for work and pleasure , is based in New Delhi, India. A passionate traveler born with a love for flora and fauna, is an active naturalist and amateur photographer. Here he shares his unique insight into Incredible India revealing its mysterious and exotic treasures. Writing from his heart he shares his experiences as he crisscrosses this vast and amazing land.

34 thoughts on “WONDER or POISON”

    1. Thanks for your delightful comment. The entire area was once part of the Humayun Tomb complex and I assume the graves date back to the 16th century. The dog became my companion as I photographed this area. It falls in an area earmarked as MICRO HABITATS , where they are trying to recreate the region as it existed in the the Medieval Ages.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like growing them just for the flowers and for the leaves shapes and colors. Sometimes they make seeds up here but our season is too short most years. I remember seeing castor bean plants growing semi-wild in South Carolina when I was much younger.

        Liked by 1 person

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