Castor bean (Ricinus communis) is a big and bold addition to the garden, with stout, upright stems that carry large, deeply lobed leaves and clusters of not-particularly showy male and female flowers; the latter mature into spiny, rounded seedpods. The species is grown as an annual in many areas (generally reaching 5 to 7 feet tall) but can be hardy (and can be invasive) in Zones 8 to 11, where it may reach 8 to 12 feet tall. I acquired my original seeds of this strain as “blue castor bean,” and the plants turned out to have beautiful blue seedpods, as well as reddish young leaves that mature to green. One peculiar trait is that the seeds are quite small for a castor bean—about half the size of those of ‘Carmencita’, for example—though the plants are full-sized. I haven’t found any name that matches the traits of these plants, so I’m calling the strain “Blue Pod” for now. It’s an interesting choice if you enjoy growing something different! Full sun.
Be aware that the seeds of castor beans are poisonous if eaten, so obviously, don’t eat them, and keep them away from children and pets. You may also want to wash your hands after sowing. Some people may have a skin reaction to the leaves, too, so consider wearing long sleeves and gloves and/or washing thoroughly after working with the plants.
Collected in September and October 2022. At least 10 seeds. Shipping to US addresses only. Cannot ship to CA, FL, or TX. I would also advise against ordering these seeds if you live in other southern states or in Hawaii because of their invasive potential.
Please read the germination information as well before ordering.