Here is the green canopy created by the Wild Castor bean(Ricinus communis) leaf. Naturally back lit by sunlight. You can also notice a ladybird beetle at the center of the image.
The castor oil plant, Ricinus communis, is a species of flowering plant in the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae. It belongs to a monotypic genus, Ricinus, and subtribe, Ricininae. The evolution of castor and its relation to other species is currently being studied. Its seed is the castor bean which, despite its name, is not a true bean.
Castor seed is the source of castor oil, which has a wide variety of uses. The seeds contain between 40% and 60% oil that is rich in triglycerides, mainly ricinolein. The seed coat contains ricin, a toxin, which is also present in lower concentrations throughout the plant.
The toxicity of raw castor beans due to the presence of ricin is well-known. Although the lethal dose in adults is considered to be 4 to 8 seeds, reports of actual poisoning are relatively rare. According to the 2007 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records, this plant is the most poisonous in the world.
Castor seeds have been found in Egyptian tombs dating back to 4000 BC being used mostly to fuel lamps because of the slow burning oil. Herodotus and other Greek travelers have noted the use of castor seed oil for lighting, body ointments, and improving hair growth and texture. Cleopatra is reputed to have used it to brighten the whites of her eyes. The Ebers Papyrus is an ancient Egyptian medical treatise believed to date from 1552 BC. Translated in 1872, it describes castor oil as a laxative.
Global castor seed production is around 1 million tons per year. Leading producing areas are India (with over 60% of the global yield), China and Brazil.
EXIF info – Aperture : ƒ/22 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark II | Taken : 12 July, 2009 | Flash fired : no | Focal length : 100mm | ISO : 500 | Location : 12° 55′ 20.39808″ N 74° 51′ 57.06216006216″ E | Shutter speed : 1/100s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.