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Castor oil fruits (Ricinus communis)

Castor oil fruits (Ricinus communis)

B640/1391

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Credit

MARIA MOSOLOVA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARIA MOSOLOVA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Castor oil fruits (Ricinus communis). These spiny fruits enclose highly poisonous seeds. The seeds contain ricin, an extremely toxic protein used in biological warfare. The seeds are also used to make castor oil, an effective laxative. The plant is monoecious, having separate male and female flowers on the same plant. All parts of the plant are poisonous.

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