Thanks to Gail Sullivan for barking in this article from NPR.org’s Talking Plants.
The Most Dangerous Plant At A Nursery Nearest You
Here’s hoping this is not the first you’re hearing about the dangers of the beautiful, bold-leaved Ricinus communis, otherwise known as the castor bean plant. Its name might not ring a bell but perhaps you’ve seen its foliage.
The problem is those spikey, Sputnuk-like seedpods, or more exactly, the smooth pebbled seeds within. One of these mouth-watering, multi-colored beans is enough to kill a Jack Russell terrier, and I only single out the breed because that’s what my friend’s dog was. It took two years for the little guy’s organs to finally fail, despite everything modern medicine had to pump him with.