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Ricinus comunis (Ricinus, Castor Oil Plant)

Ricinus comunis (Ricinus, Castor Oil Plant)
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Type Shrub (Multi-stemmed Plant), Herbaceous flower, Bedding Plants & Tender Perennials, Deciduous
Form Upright Taller-Growing Clump, Architectural Form
Size Medium Border Plant (50-180cm height)
Colours Purple Foliage
Care Regular Maintenance Required
Hardiness Frost tender
Growth Fast Growing Plant
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Ricinus comunis Description

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.

Ricinus comunis - Cultivation Notes

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.

Strengths, Weaknesses & Design Usage

Strengths of Ricinus comunis:

  • Suitable for container growing
  • Architectural plant – ideal as a ‘stand out’ plant
  • Tolerates full sun and sandy, drought-prone soils
  • Tolerates heavy clay soils

Weaknesses of Ricinus comunis

  • Poisonous if eaten/irritating sap
  • Invasive top growth
  • Does not produce showy attractive flowers

Design & Plant Use for Ricinus comunis:

  • Annual bedding plant ideal for quick seasonal colour
If you like this plant you may also be interested in these:
plants for pots and containers
architectural plants
plants for heavy clay soils

View all the plants listed in Genus Ricinus

View other types of annuals with purple foliage

Common Missspellings: Rickinus, Rikinus, Rikanis, Rickanis

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