Invasive plants: Castor or Devil’s Fig

The Castor, whose scientific name is Ricinus communis, is a very ornamental shrubby plant, very fast growing , capable of surviving long periods of drought . For this reason, it is considered one of the most invasive plants in temperate and warm climates.

Let us know more about him.

It can reach about ten meters in height, although it is common to find specimens that do not exceed 3 meters. Its leaves, palmate and quite large, with about 8 lobes, are perennial, they do not fall in winter.

It is a plant that blooms almost all year round, even from a very young age, but especially in summer. The fruit, the seed, is small, one centimeter long, reddish brown, with white spots.

It is used as an ornamental and industrial plant. In gardens it can be used as hedges, or as an isolated specimen, delimiting steps for example.

“Castor oil” is obtained from its seeds, eliminating the RICIN toxin, which is highly toxic in high doses. This oil is used against constipation, to combat baldness, and is also used to make soaps, motor lubricant and paint desiccant.

The castor is an effective fly repellent, thus preventing them from approaching the place where it is planted.

The seeds are not edible. Only ten are enough to cause the death of a human being. It is not advisable to have it when there are children at home or pets.

There are two varieties: the one with green leaves (the common one), and the one with red leaves whose scientific name is Ricinus communis var. purple .

Resistant to drought, but not to frost. Protect from the cold if we live in climates where thermometers can drop below zero.

It reproduces by seeds, which can be sown directly. It is advisable to place one seed per pot, since it is very likely that they will all germinate and, as they grow rapidly, they can have problems after a very short time.

Invasive plants: Castor or Devil’s Fig

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