You've probably heard old-timers talk about the laxative derived from castor plants, castor oil. [Edited to add: Recently, the poison, ricin, also derived from castor plants, has been in the news.] But have you ever thought about including castor oil's source, castor bean plants in your landscape design? If so, be forewarned: although castor bean plants can make for striking specimens in a landscape design, their seeds or "beans" are quite poisonous. Avoid planting castor bean plants altogether if you have small children. This site discusses the many uses of castor bean plants, also providing word derivations for both its common name and scientific name (Ricinus communis).