Ricinus

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n Ricinus a genus of herb having only one known species: castor-oil plant
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Ricin is a protein produced by the castor oil plant, Ricinus communis, which is highly toxic (the minimal lethal dose is around 1 µg / kg body weight, that means 1/15th of a milligram could kill a 150 lb. person). Ricin can be a dangerous contaminant, making the production of castor oil a precisely controlled process.
    • n Ricinus (Bot) A genus of plants of the Spurge family, containing but one species (Ricinus communis), the castor-oil plant. The fruit is three-celled, and contains three large seeds from which castor oil is expressed. See Palma Christi.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n ricinus A genus of apetalous plants of the order Euphorbiaceæ, tribe Crotoneæ, and subtribe Acalypheæ. It is characterized by monœcious flowers, the calyx in the staminate flowers closed in the bud, in the pistillate sheath-like and cleft and very caducous; by very numerous(sometimes 1,000) stamens, with their crowded filaments repeatedly branched, each branch bearing two separate and roundish anther-cells; and by a three-celled ovary with two-cleft plumose styles, ripening into a capsule with three two-valved cells, each containing one smooth ovoid hard-crusted seed with fleshy albumen and two broad and flat cotyledons. The only species, R. communis, the well-known castor-oil plant, is a native probably of Africa, often naturalized in warm climates, and possibly indigenous in America and Asia. It is a tall annual herb, smooth and often glaucous, becoming arborescent in warm regions, and bearing large alternate leaves palmately lobed and peltate. The conspicuous terminal inflorescence is composed of somewhat panicled racemes, the upper part of each formed of crowded staminate flowers, the lower part of pistillate flowers, each short-pedicelled. The plant is very variable in its capsules, which are either smooth or prickly, and in the seeds, which are often mottled with gray and brown markings, and appendaged with a large whitish caruncle. The castor-oil plant is not only of medicinal value, as the source of a mild and speedy cathartic, but is one of the most imposing of ornamental plants, and thrives as an annual in temperate climates. It has several garden varieties. Also called castor-bean and palma Christi. See castor-oil; also arillode and caruncle.
    • n ricinus In cntom., an old genus of bird-lice.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Ricinus ris′i-nus a genus of apetalous plants, whose one species is Ricinus communis, the castor-oil plant
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L., the castor-oil plant
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. ricinus, the castor-oil plant.

Usage

In literature:

Haug has observed a tic (ixodes ricinus) in the ear of a lad of seventeen.
"Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine" by George M. Gould
Associated Words: ricinoleic, ricinolein, ricinus, Palma Christi.
"Putnam's Word Book" by Louis A. Flemming
Here also I saw Sesamum and Ricinus, sure signs of increasing temperature, Labiata edulis.
"Journals of Travels in Assam, Burma, Bhootan, Afghanistan and TheNeighbouring Countries" by William Griffith
Many gardeners never raise Ricinus in heat, but trust entirely to a sowing in the open on the first day of May.
"The Culture of Vegetables and Flowers From Seeds and Roots, 16th Edition" by Sutton and Sons
Large seed, like that of the Sweet Pea, Four-o'-Clock, and Ricinus, should be covered to the depth of half an inch.
"Amateur Gardencraft" by Eben E. Rexford
The purified Ricinus oil required for medicine is imported from England or Italy.
"Travels in Peru, on the Coast, in the Sierra, Across the Cordilleras and the Andes, into the Primeval Forests" by J. J. von Tschudi
A dozen witnesses testify that the seeds of Ricinus (Castor Bean,) dropped here and there in their tunnels will make them leave.
"The Mayflower, January, 1905" by Various
Ricinus communis L. Spurge family.
"Texas Honey Plants" by C. E. Sanborn
I have just harvested my Ricinus or Castor Bean, which I raised from the seed you sent me last spring.
"Talks about Flowers." by M. D. Wellcome
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In news:

It was first detected in Ixodes ricinus ticks, but has never been linked to human disease.
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In science:

Bown, K. J., Lambin, X., Telford, G. R., Ogden, N. H., Telfer, S., Woldehiwet, Z. and Birtles, R. J. (2008) Relative Importance of Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes trianguliceps as Vectors for Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Babesia microti in Field Vole (Microtus agrestis) Populations.
A coupled hidden Markov model for disease interactions
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