Species

Ricinus communis

Common Name(s)

castor oil plant

Authority

Ricinus communis L.

Family

Euphorbiaceae

Flora Category

Vascular - Exotic

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Trees & Shrubs

Habitat

Terrestrial.

Features

Castor oil plant is a small, spreading tree up to 4m tall. The leaves are large, soft and deeply lobed (20-40 cm diam.). The flowers are clustered in heads and the soft spiny capsules contain rectangular seeds up to 15 mm long. (West 1996)

Similar Taxa

The NZ plants usually have purple leaves (Landcare Research 1999).

Flowering

December, January, February

Flower Colours

Green,Red / Pink

Fruiting

not known

Year Naturalised

1864

Origin

Tropical Africa

Reason For Introduction
Ornamental

Poisonous plant:
The mottled seeds are poisonous if eaten.

This page last updated on 5 Dec 2010