Plant Encyclopedia
Ricinus Comunis - Ricinus, Castor Oil Plant

Ricinus Comunis - Ricinus, Castor Oil Plant

Type Shrub, Herbaceous, Container-friendly, Annual, Deciduous
Size Medium Border (50-100cm height)
Form Upright - Clump
Colours Purple Foliage
Care Regular maintenance required
Hardiness Frost tender
Growth Fast growing

This exceptionally fast growing exotic shrub is commonly used as a tall architectural plant to grow up amongst annual bedding or herbaceous planting, or as a large annual pot grown specimen. Its impressive cut deep purple red foliage is outstanding and contrast beautifully with golden or yellow foliage or flowering plants. This plant contains a toxin called ricin and should not be planted where there is a risk it might be ingested.

Cultivation tips: This exotic perennial shrub is commonly grown from seed each year as it is not frost tolerant. It can grow to 1.8 metres by 1 metre spread in a season if grown in ideal conditions. Ricinus will require a fertile moist soil - ideally heavily manured in advance - as well as plenty of watering to encourage it to reach its maximum size. Ideally plant in a sheltered spot to protect lush foliage and stake if top heavy. All parts of this plant are poisonous.
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