A British woman who was out for a walk in a park was horrified to discover one of the planet’s most lethal plants growing in a council flowerbed, reported Walesonline.
The woman found Ricinus communis, more commonly known as the castor oil plant, which contains a substance 6,000 times more poisonous than cyanide. Conwy Council groundskeepers planted flowerbeds in Queen Gardens Park in Colwyn Bay earlier this week, according to Media Wales. The plant was among the flowers and shrubs.
The castor oil plant includes ricin, a prohibited material that, in sufficient quantities, is regarded as a chemical and biological weapon. Although gloves should always be used when handling the plant, the seeds and seed heads present the greatest risk if consumed. It just takes between 1 and 10 seeds to cause death.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, based on the amount of poison it takes to kill a human, the most poisonous common plant in the world is the castor bean (Ricinus communis). According to the Merck Index: An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals (1997), a dose of 70 micrograms (2 millionths of an ounce) is enough to kill a person weighing 72 kg (160 lb or 11 st 4 lb).
According to the Daily Post,Conwy Council said it would be taking its usual precautions with the latest batch of Ricinus planted in Colwyn Bay and elsewhere.
A spokesperson said: “We have used Castor Oil (Ricinnus communis) plants in our bedding displays for many years and they are commonly used in bedding displays throughout the UK.
“As with many decorative plants, the seeds and seed heads are toxic if ingested, and we look to remove the plants before the seed heads set.” According to the Royal Horticultural Society, other ornamentals and flowers, such as yews, bluebells, and delphinium can also be toxic if eaten – even daffodils.