On a recent trip to St. Louis, I noticed this beautiful flower bed at Tower Grove Park. The big plant in the center with the bright green large 20" (50 cm) star shaped leaves is the Castor Bean Plant. The darker large leaves at the base are Elephant Ears.
I was prompted to post this picture after reading one of my favorite blogger's latest post. At True Crime Book Reviews, the blogger has reviewed a book by best selling author Ann Rule called "Bitter Harvest." Without giving too much away, I will just say that the true story took place in Kansas City, and a so-called "brilliant" doctor attempted to poison her husband using Castor beans. This terrible deed is nothing compared to the other crimes she committed! Check out the blog's book review for more information.
It's a bit ironic that this Castor Bean Plant is prominently featured in a city park, and yet just a year ago a Utah man was investigated by Homeland Security for growing this beautiful foliage plant in his front yard! Only in America! I guess we've come a long way from such panic over the last year.