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Poisionous plants

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by activelandscaping, Oct 24, 2004.

  1. activelandscaping

    activelandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 241

    Last year I was doing a install next to a McDonald's when I noticed some unusual plant material in their raised beds. I thought it looked like " Castor Bean ( Ricinus communis) ", but what kind of Nut would plant something that toxic in a public area frequented by thousands of kids? :eek:

    For those of you who are not familiar with the " Castor Bean " it is the source of " Ricin ", one of the most deadly poisons known. :help:

    So, I went into McDonald's and asked if I could talk to the manager for a second. The manager came over to the booth where I was waiting, he was smiling like the sun never set, and I asked him if he knew those were " Castor Bean Plant's " in his beds out front. He said " I don't know what you call um, but people think their fantastic looking ". I then told him what Castor Bean plants were, and what they could do. I can honestly say that I have never seen anyone more surprised in my life. The manager then thanked me and walked into the back, about 2 minutes later he was transplanting the beans into the dumpster. The next day I noticed that the beds had been replanted with Day lilies and Calendula, a much better choice.:)

    There are quite a few plant's that are poisonous, most of them are mildly poisonous, available at the nursery. Castor Bean is one of the worst, in my opinion, because of the " candy like " appearance of the flowers. It makes me wonder if there shouldn't be some sort of " highly visible " warning attached to this type of plant material. I certainly hope that the person who planted Castor Bean's at McDonald's did so out of ignorance.

    So, should they put a " highly visible " warning label on poisonous plant material, or is a asterisk and a small footnote adequate?


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