|Тропики на подоконнике
Выращивание тропических растений в нетропическом климате
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Coarse perennial, 30–39 ft tall in the tropics, with the stem 4-6" in diameter, but usually behaves as an annual in the temperate regions 3-9ft tall; stems succulent, herbaceous, very variable in all aspects. There are several cultivated varieties with strikingly different foliage colorations, including black-purplish, dark red-metallic, bronze-green, maroon, bright green with white veins, and just plain green. Although it grows very rapidly with little care or insect pests and produces a mass of lush tropical foliage, its use in cultivation should be discouraged because of the extremely poisonous seeds or "beans." Flowers occur most of the year in dense terminal clusters (inflorescences), with female flowers just above the male flowers. This species is clearly monoecious, with separate male and female flowers on the same individual. There are no petals and each female flower consists of a little spiny ovary (which develops into the fruit or seed capsule), and a bright red structure with feathery branches (stigma lobes) that receives pollen from male flowers. Each male flower consists of a cluster of many stamens which literally smoke as they shed pollen in a gust of wind. Castorbean is cultivated for the seeds which yield a fast-drying, non-yellowing oil, used mainly in industry and medicines. Oil used in coating fabrics and other protective coverings, in the manufacture of high-grade lubricants, transparent typewriter and printing inks, in textile dyeing. The castor oil is extracted from the beans, which is used for medicinal purposes. Commercially prepared castor oil contains none of the toxin. In Suriname traditional medicine, the juice from the leaves resolved in water is used against rheumatism, headache, dropsy (edema) and abscesses, ringworms and warts.
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