A tender annual, this beautiful red leaved variety is grown solely for its decorative value, because the hull of the bean produced in the seed heads contains the poison ricin. The seed itself is produces castor oil. Please note that this plant is poisonous.
- Decorative garden plant
- Tall growing plant
- Adds colour and texture to a border
- Poisonous seed and leaves – not to be eaten
Castor oil plant has a chapter dedicated to it in the Ebers papyrus found in The Valley of the Kings and dating from around 1500BC. In more recent times the plant has fallen from favour because of the presence of ricin in the seed coating, a deadly poison that was responsible for the death of Georgi Markov on Waterloo Bridge when it was administered from the tip of an umbrella.
- Height: 100-150cm
- Type: Tender
- Aspect: Sun
- Soil: Any/alkaline
- Flower colour: Red
- Flowering period: July- August
The castor oil plant is tender annual in the UK and is grown from seed each spring when the all danger of frosts has passed. It is a decorative annual, which can be grown in the ground where it will reach a reasonable height, or can be grown in a pot. The seeds which are extremely toxic can be dried and sown the following year, but since they are beans they should be labelled well and kept well away from any other pulses that they could be confused with.
Castor oil plant has a rich history of uses from India and Africa dating back thousands of years. It has been used for both a medicine and a moisturising ingredient in the skincare industry. The oil was used traditionally used as a potent laxative; however more recently the plant has fallen from internal use because of the presence of ricin that is highly toxic.
Herbs are usually dispatched between Mondays and Thursdays via a 24hr courier service, within 2-4 days of placing your order. Please note that at some points of the year during busy peaks it may take a little longer.
1 - 23 herbs - £5.85
24+ herbs - free delivery
Please note there are additional surcharges for delivery to some postcodes in the Scottish Highlands and Islands, Isle of Wight and Scilly Isles - this will be calculated at the checkout based on the delivery address postcode. Unfortunately due to Brexit we are unable to ship to Northern Island currently.
All the herbs are supplied in 9x9 cm pots (8cm depth). Our herbs are packaged securely in recycled and recyclable blister packs and then into cardboard boxes, to ensure your plants to arrive in the best possible condition.
Further information about delivery can be found on our Ordering & delivery information page.
All our herbs are grown on the nursery and are dispatched labelled with their plant name and basic growing instructions
Our aim is to provide our customers with top quality herbs and service. We have worked hard to find a robust packing and delivery system that ensures your plants arrive at your door in the best condition.
We would ask that you check your herbs carefully when they arrive and report any problems to us either by phone or email within 48 hours so that we can rectify it. We may ask that you send us a photo.
We cannot accept responsibility for plants that have not been cared for or had unsuitable care.
Once an order has been placed you have the right to cancel your order up to the day of dispatch. As herbs are a perishable item we cannot accept returns in exchange for a refund.