Ricinus communis commonly called Castor Oil plant originated in India.This shrub has many varieties. Lately, I have been seeing Castor Oil plants popping up and wondered if the seeds were flying. I kept checking the neighbourhood to see if there were any plants in flower. Lo and behold, it was birds that were bringing the seeds!
Castor Oil plants quickly attain the height of approximately 12 – 15 feet. Actually, the leaves are quite attractive; they are a glossy and palmate-shaped green. The fruits are also attractive – a colourful reddish/brown with spherical and prickly bodies when mature.
Castor oil is a useful tropical plant. The seeds contain ricin, one of the most poisonous substances known. However ricin is not soluble in oil and therefore the plant is of commercial value in oil production. Castor Oil is used in foods, medicine and beauty products.
Until next week, Happy Gardening.