Q. I hear castor bean plant is toxic, please tell me more about this plant.

Answer

The Ricinus communis, commonly called castor bean plant, is a toxic plant. More below.

In certain parts of the U.S., it has escaped gardens and naturalized in fields, waste areas and along roadsides. It will grow rapidly in a single season to 6-10’ tall. Ornamentally, it is most valued for its huge, palmately lobed (5-11 pointed lobes), toothed, glossy green leaves (each to 1-3’ across) and round, spiny, reddish-brown seed capsules.

It is best not to plant this annual in areas where small children play. Seed capsules may be pinched off when small to remove poisonous seeds from the plant. Contact with plant foliage may cause allergic skin reactions in some individuals. Each female flower has a red stigma. Every part of this plant is POISONOUS if ingested, particularly the seeds which contain highly toxic ricin. Oil from the seeds has been used in a wide variety of industrial applications. Castor oil can be extracted from the seeds and is not toxic. Plant cultivars, dwarf and large, are available, some having attractive reddish, bronze or purple leaves and some having bright and colorful flowers. Genus name comes from the Latin word ricinus meaning a tick from the appearance of the seeds. Garden Uses: Shrubby annual. Specimen. Containers.  More: https://www.invasiveplantatlas.org/subject.html?sub=6320

Hope this is helpful.

  • Last Updated Apr 02, 2018
  • Views 2
  • Answered By Anita Finkle

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