Castor bean or castor oil plant is a bold and beautiful plant.
Not a bean at all, the castor plant is our source of castor oil. The leaves and especially the seeds are extremely poisonous.
The leaves are this lovely palm shape.
I grew this red variety from seed saved from last year’s plants. It grows 4-5 feet tall, with a thick woody stem. I don’t stake it. It usually stays upright, unless a strong summer storm makes it lean over.
There is no bloom to speak of, it’s all about the leaves here. The seeds are hidden in these spiked red balls. I wait until they are more mature, when they turn more brown and dried. Then it’s easy to pop the seeds out, and save them for next spring.
It is a striking plant in the garden, doing best in sunnier areas.
One or two plants will provide lots of conversation with your garden visitors!