1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Another mystery plant...

Discussion in 'Flora & Fauna' started by Keith_Beef, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. Keith_Beef

    Keith_Beef Native

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2003
    Messages:
    1,328
    Likes Received:
    230
    Location:
    Yvelines, north-west of Paris, France.
    I'm certain that I've seen this plant before, and was struck by its strangeness...

    It's about calf-high (that's the calf of my leg, not a young bovine).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    These are crappy pictures taken with my phone, walking home from the station tonight. I'll see if I can get some better pictures with a real camera over the weekend.
     
  2. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
    Mod

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Messages:
    34,792
    Likes Received:
    1,205
    Location:
    S. Lanarkshire
    No idea, first glance I thought castor oil plant though.

    Plants we don't see often enough to lodge in the memory are hard :sigh:

    M
     
  3. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    Messages:
    1,927
    Likes Received:
    1,171
    Location:
    Exmoor
    If it's what I think it is a datura .. thorn apple. Very poisonous.
     
    Toddy likes this.
  4. slowworm

    slowworm Settler

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    950
    Likes Received:
    81
    Location:
    Devon
    Yep, Thorn apple, Datura stramonium, seeds are especially poisonous.
     
    Toddy likes this.
  5. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Messages:
    11,442
    Likes Received:
    2,017
    Location:
    Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
    Datura for ure!

    Castor plant has smaller leaves, and the fruits are much smaller and grow in bunches, several bunches per plant.

    Plenty of them here. Never tried Castor Oil though.

    You guys know that during WW1, many aircraft engines had a total loss lubricating system? And had Castor oil added to the fuel?

    The pilots and observers suffered from constant diarrhea, due to breathing and ingesting the C.O. remains and fumes.
     
    Toddy likes this.
  6. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
    Mod

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Messages:
    34,792
    Likes Received:
    1,205
    Location:
    S. Lanarkshire
    Thank you all :)

    At least I was sure it wasn't something I would want to touch or eat.
    Does it grow here ?

    M
     
  7. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
    Mod

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Messages:
    34,792
    Likes Received:
    1,205
    Location:
    S. Lanarkshire
    Just been looking, and it does, though it's rare. It's a by product of bird seed say the RHS.

    https://scotland-species.nbnatlas.org/species/NBNSYS0000004044

    Other names include false castor oil plant.

    I freely admit that I'm really only familiar with the plants that grow around me, and those that I have sought out as either food or dye plants.
    Leaves an awful lot of greenery though :oops:

    Threads like this are useful :D
     
  8. Keith_Beef

    Keith_Beef Native

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2003
    Messages:
    1,328
    Likes Received:
    230
    Location:
    Yvelines, north-west of Paris, France.
    Two-stroke petrol engines also have oil mixed with the fuel as a lubricant.

    At one time, you needed to put the premixed fuel in the tank; you could occasionally find "pre-mixed" at the petrol station, but usually you would have to buy petrol in a jerry can and add a measured quantity of oil to it.

    Later, vehicle manufacturers designed models with a fuel tank and an oil tank, with a mechanism for mixing the two in the correct proportions before sending the mixture to the carburettor.

    And I believe that the brand name "Castrol" was chosen because the product was made from (or contained) castor oil.
     
  9. Keith_Beef

    Keith_Beef Native

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2003
    Messages:
    1,328
    Likes Received:
    230
    Location:
    Yvelines, north-west of Paris, France.
    Thanks for that.

    It's growing along the roadside, not so very far away from the millet, so I think it's very probable that both the millet and the thorn apple have come from bird seed.
     
  10. dwardo

    dwardo Maker

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    6,132
    Likes Received:
    171
    Location:
    Nr Chester
    Amazing looking thing. Just looking at it you can see why folk dared to try the seeds and were exported off to other realities. Wiki has some interesting info, one being used as an ingredient in "witches flying ointment" o_O
     

Share This Page