Castor Bean - Ricinus Communis

This dramatic plant grabs your attention. It's a  tropical plant, so it needs to be started from seed every spring. The seeds are large burgundy colored beans with a reptilian pattern. They sprout in a few days and grow quite quickly, but they start growing incredibly quickly once they are planted outside and the weather warms up. They can easily grow five feet in one season. The red-tinged leaves grow to be as big as a foot in diameter. They grow well in full sun to partial shade, but they really need regular water to become giants. They have red stems and inconspicuous flowers that mature into bright, spiky seed heads.

They are a great vertical accent in the border or in large containers. Be careful though, because like many garden plants, this one is quite poisonous. If you are a "Breaking Bad" fan, you may remember a derivative of this plant making an appearance.