May 22 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, September 6, 2012
A KEEN plantsman has called on Fenland District Council to rip up poisonous castor oil plants that have been included in a decorative scheme in Wisbech town centre.
But the council is adamant that the plants - which have taken the title of the Guinness Book of World Record’s most poisonous plant - pose no danger to the public.
David Morgan from Welney, who spotted the plants growing near the Freedom Bridge, says that eating a few seeds from the plant could kill a human, and believes that all parts of the specimen plant are poisonous.
A spokesman from Fenland District Council said: “There is no need for anyone to be alarmed by the presence of these plants. In common with very many local authorities, we use castor oil plants in some of our displays to give them some architectural form and make them more attractive – they give a bit of decorative height.
“Councils all around the country have been using the plant in public flower beds for many years without any problem.”
Mr Morgan said: “These plants should not have been planted in my view. I am concerned, because all parts of the plant are dangerous, I think the public should be aware. The seeds contain a chemical called ricin, and a lethal dose is around four to eight seeds. A child could swallow the seeds, or someone could be affected if they tried to take a cutting.”
Three years ago Mr Morgan spotted the plants growing in Norfolk, and they were removed and burned within 24 hours.