Ricinus communis zanzibarensis

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Castor Oil Plant with huge green leaves and is capable of reaching 10ft+ in one season, supporting 2ft wide leaves. Great for an unusual green jungle back drop. 

Ricinus communis is fast growing, tall and dramatic with huge leaves and interesting flower spikes that add drama to borders and beds. Also known as the Caster Oil plant, the plants can grow so fast that they can be used as a very large and dramatic annual in the garden.

This is a new and rather spectacular version of the Castor Oil Plant. Ricinus communis 'Zanzibarensis' is a fast growing, palm tree-like plant, it sports large and architectural, green leaves and will be a splendid specimen for the back of the border. The huge palmate leaves have deeply incised lobes. In late summer clusters of bright red blooms are followed by stunning scarlet seeds pods. Be warned ... this remarkably architectural plant can grow up to 12 ft tall.

The plants are remarkably architectural and can be used very effectively in the centre of island beds or at the back of the border. In frost free areas they are grown in large borders or allowed to naturalise in the back of the landscape. In frosty climates, the Castor Oil plant is one of the best ways to quickly create a tropical effect in the garden.

WARNING: SEEDS & PLANTS POISONOUS - For a fast tropical effect from seed Ricinus plants are hard to beat. They have a bad reputation because of the poison Ricin that can be extracted with quite a complicated chemical process and that the seeds are toxic if eaten. However these plants grow wild in parts of southern Europe and the Southern parts of the US without any significant problems and the seeds are used to produce castor oil, quite a common product even fed to children when I was a kid. Several varieties have been cultivated for ornamental use all quite tall with large leaves growing from 1 metre to 4 metres in a single season given an early start.