Ricinus communis L.

Castor Oil Plant

Sp. Pl. 1007 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Annual herb to perennial shrub or tree, to c. 12 m high, glabrous. Leaves orbicular, mostly 10–40 cm long and wide, palmately 7–9-lobed; lobes lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, margins irregularly dentate; petiole 10–30 cm long. Panicles erect, to c. 15 cm long, loose; peduncles to 20 cm long; pedicels to 10 mm long, those of female flowers elongating in fruit. Sepals ovate, 6–8 mm long. Capsule ovoid, 8–20 mm long, 10–20 mm wide, 3-lobed, spiny; seeds subglobose, 9–17 mm diam., somewhat flattened, smooth, shiny, variously marked and coloured, toxic. Flowers mainly summer.

*GipP, *HSF, *OtP, *Strz, *VVP. Naturalized all mainland States. Native to Africa. A widely grown ornamental that occasionally becomes naturalised in disturbed areas near habitation.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1999). Euphorbiaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Daniel Ohlsen, 2017-06-06
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Malpighiales
family Euphorbiaceae
genus Ricinus
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Ricinus communis in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Ricinus communis in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present introduced
Otway Plain present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Strzelecki Ranges present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory