Castor in the Southwest

Father Kino may have brought castor plants into the Southwest. The plants were growing in mission gardens by the late 1700’s. Why Castor? Castor oil comes from the seeds of Ricinus communis.  (More about the name – here) Some highly effective medicines, insecticides, and uses of the oil come from the castor seeds (they are not – botanically speaking – beans). Caution right here at the start – castor is NOT a plant to grow for home remedies. All parts of the plant contain both useful and highly toxic compounds. […]