Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: 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

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

27 members have or want this plant for trade.


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)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

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

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall


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:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 14 photos.
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2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive mamajack 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 auntkitty 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.


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

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