Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Castor bean (Ricinus communis)

Synonym(s): Mole bean, palma christi, wonder tree, African coffee tree, Mexican weed, koli, moy bean, dig tick seeds

Contributor(s): Rosalind Dalefield

Introduction

  • Member of the Spurge ( Euphorbiaceae) family.
  • Found in waste areas, roadsides (southern states of the US) and as a cultivated ornamental plant (northern states of the US).
  • Robust shrub-like plant with red-purple stems reaching 12 feet in height. The large umbrella-like leaves have 5-9 palmate lobes. Purple leaf-stems are attached near the centers of the leaf blades.
  • Green-white or red-brown flowers are produced in narrow, upright clusters and the fruit is a three-lobed, green or red capsule with a soft, spiny exterior.
  • One large, mottled seed (1-2 cm) develops in each lobe, resembling well-fed ticks. Seeds are attractive and may be used in jewellery.

Toxicity

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Clinical signs

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prognosis

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Soto-Blanco B, Sinhorini I L, Gorniak S L et al (2002) Ricinus communis cake poisoning in a dog. Vet Hum Toxicol 44 (3), 155-156 PubMed.
  • Albretsen J C, Gwaltney-Brant S M & Khan S A (2000) Evaluation of castor bean toxicosis in dogs: 98 cases. JAAHA 36 (3), 229-233 PubMed.

Other sources of information


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