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Ricin plant from Breaking Bad is growing outside Bromley’s Churchill Theatre, but theatre-goers aren’t at risk

PUBLISHED: 16:04 05 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:07 05 September 2017

A ricinus communis plant is growing outside the Churchill Theatre. Stock image.

A ricinus communis plant is growing outside the Churchill Theatre. Stock image.

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Ricinus communis is used to harvest poison in the show

A potentially poisonous plant made infamous by TV show Breaking Bad is growing outside Bromley’s Churchill Theatre.

Ricinus communis appeared in the AMC series as the source of a poison, known as ricin, used by protagonist Walter White, played by Bryan Cranston, to see-off his enemies.

The red plant is also used to create castor oil by pressing its seeds, but the plant’s fruit, normally coloured from green to a reddish purple, can be highly poisonous.

One green-fingered resident got in touch about the plant, telling us: “I found it very pretty, but when I researched it from a picture I took, I discovered how dangerous it can be.”

Despite the link to its nefarious use in the popular series, environment councillor Colin Smith told the Bromley Times the plant was perfectly safe.

He said: “This plant has been used in Bromley for many years and is used extensively as a decorative plant in many areas across the country, with the plant removed at the end of the season when the particular display is finished which is entirely normal and safe practice.

“If left in situ, in common with many other bedding plants, they could grow to a substantial size, which would make it unsuitable as a bedding plant but it could also be at that stage that the plant may produce seed and this is when there may be associated risk, long after the plant has been removed as a bedding plant.”


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