Purple Castor Bean
Ricinus communis 'New Zealand Purple'

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ricinus (RISS-i-nus) (Info)
Species: communis (KOM-yoo-nis) (Info)
Cultivar: New Zealand Purple

Category:

Shrubs

Height:

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

Spacing:

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Danger:

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Red

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Foliage:

Evergreen

Blue-Green

Burgundy

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Millbrook, Alabama

Glendale, Arizona

Monticello, Arkansas

Bartow, Florida

Brooksville, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Broxton, Georgia

Barbourville, Kentucky

Frankfort, Kentucky

Krotz Springs, Louisiana

Britton, Michigan

Lucedale, Mississippi

Socorro, New Mexico

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Emerald Isle, North Carolina

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Macungie, Pennsylvania

Mc Minnville, Tennessee

Belton, Texas

Brazoria, Texas

Galveston, Texas

Jacksonville, Texas

Mont Belvieu, Texas

San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)

Suffolk, Virginia

Kalama, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

2
positives
0
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Oct 16, 2010, mamajack from Fate, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

i started this plant from seeds this spring. and now it is over 6 ft. tall. the trunk is about 2 plus inches diameter or is that circumference?

the leaves are pretty magnificent. purple/red stalks, stems and veins. newer leaves are reddish purple and they just glow. seems like the ones facing the sun are more purple. bottom leaves are castor bean green with red veining. the leaves are huge. seed head/flowers are red.

the plant is gorgeous. i love it. i am thinking about digging it up so that i can keep the plant. i will save the seeds but sure hate to lose the plant.

Positive

On Jun 29, 2009, auntkitty from Socorro, NM (Zone 7b) wrote:

I started this from 2 year old seed and it is doing very well, if growing a little slower than I would wish. I am using it as a screen against a trellis and hoping to save seed for next year.