Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Castor Bean, Caster Oil Plant, Mole Bean, Higuera Infernal
Ricinus communis 'Zanzibarensis'

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ricinus (RISS-i-nus) (Info)
Species: communis (KOM-yoo-nis) (Info)
Cultivar: Zanzibarensis
Additional cultivar information: (aka Zanzibar)

Synonym:Ricinus zanzibarensis

One vendor has this plant for sale.

11 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

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 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 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

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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Thumbnail #1 of Ricinus communis by henkmaters

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Thumbnail #3 of Ricinus communis by WUVIE

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There are a total of 12 photos.
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4 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive WUVIE On Jun 24, 2007, WUVIE from Hulbert, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

There will always be room in my garden for many Castor Beans.

Zanzibarensis, also recorded as Zanzibariensis / Zanzibar, is the
largest leafed variety often growing to extreme heights. Typically, the all green plant with white veining is found, though also features shades of red within the variety.

While they are poisonous, the seed pods present the problem moreso than the plant itself. Simply remove the pods before they
form and / or mature, and dispose of them properly.

Using common sense, there is no reason one cannot safely grow these tropical beauties in one season, provided a long season is available.

Positive dulcimerdude On Mar 23, 2007, dulcimerdude from Britton, MI wrote:

I'm a castor bean lover from way back. I began growing the "giants" a couple of years back and have been very pleased. The first year plants grew to over 10' with the largest leaf about 30" across. Last year, grew to almost 14' with the broadest leaf over 36" across. This year, I started my indoor garden before Christmas, currently have plants almost 2' tall, so hope to get some 20 foot'ers this year.

Positive Gabrielle On Jan 28, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

'Zanzibarensis' is a fast growing annual in zone 5, but my information says it is hardy in zones 8-10. It adds a very tropical look to the garden, and some people use them as a quick "tree" for shade. Soaking aids germination of seeds.

Positive Dacooolest On Jan 6, 2006, Dacooolest from Brandon, MB (Zone 2b) wrote:

A particularly large variety of castor bean, with dark green leaves and red berries. In my short season garden, they grew 8 feet tall!!


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

Hereford, Arizona
Menifee, California
San Diego, California
Dunnellon, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida
Chicago, Illinois
La Grange Park, Illinois
Roselle, Illinois
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Blanchard, Michigan
Britton, Michigan
Leakesville, Mississippi
Dover, New Hampshire
Columbia Station, Ohio
Swanton, Ohio
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Tangent, Oregon
Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
San Angelo, Texas

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