Alien Invasives

Castor-oil Plant (Ricinus communis)


05 October 2016

Castor-oil Plant (Ricinus communis)

The Caster Oil Plant is an annual shrub with a softly woody stem growing up to 4 metres high. The shiny, dark green or reddish leaves are paler below and star-shaped with serrated margins. The flowers are held above the leaves on stalks with the uppermost flowers being reddish and lower flowers cream. These are followed by green, brown or reddish, three-lobed capsules covered with soft spines. The entire plant is poisonous.

Other names
Castorbean, Wonder Tree (English)
Kasterolieboom, Bloubottelboom, Bosluisboom (Afrikaans)
umhlakuva (isiZulu)
umhlakuva (isiXhosa)
mohlafotha (Sesotho)
mokhura (Pedi)
mufuta (Shona)
umfude (Ndebele)
Invasive status
NEMBA Category 2
CARA 2002 Category 2

Castor-oil plant
Originally from
Tropical Africa
Where is it a problem?
All provinces in South Africa
How does it spread?
Seed dispersal
Why is it a problem?
It competes with indigenous pioneering species especially in watercourses and is extremely poisonous.
Ornamental and production of castor oil

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