Fourth Sunday in Advent 2013

This is the last flower featuring in my Advent Sunday series, and I think it looks rather festive too!

Ricinus communis

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I grew two of these from seed, and was amazed at how well they grew! They loved it in my dry and very hot rockery, and looked good until the first frost. The large glossyy leaves are an exotic addition to the garden – not really fitting in with other plants at all. In fact they are almost gaudy, but the small flowers and seedheads are somehow very attractive and every time I passed this plant I would admire it.

The common name in German is Wunderbaum (Miracle Tree) and this seemed very appropriate as I could not believe its growth and stature! It was not until I looked up the English common name – Castor Oil Plant – that I realized this is where castor oil comes from. I had never given it a thought before.

Only one drawback if you have pets or small children – this plant and its seeds are toxic. Ours was tucked well into the barely accessible rockery.

Have you ever grown anything exotic?

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Here’s another (more seasonal) plant that is exotic for us in Europe. Do you have these at Christmas time too?

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Enjoy the last few days before Christmas!