Castor oil plant
Ricinus communis, Fam. Euphorbiaceae
Perennial many-branched sub-shrub to 3m. Stems hollow, glabrous, pale dull green, sometimes with reddish tinge.
Locally Declared Plants
Under the Local Law provision of the Local Government Act 1993, Local Government may declare a weed specifically for their Council area and enforce their control.
|Form or habit:||Shrub|
Simple, alternate, about 300mm in diameter, deeply palmately divided into 7-10 finely toothed lobes that radiate from the stout, hollow 100-300mm long stalk. Young leaves glossy reddish-brown, becoming green on maturity. Crushed leaves have an objectionable smell.
|Flower description:||About 10mm in diameter, crowded on long stout erect spikes. Fluffy cream or yellow flowers are male, flowers with conspicuous feathery red styles are female.|
|Fruit description:||Greenish, fleshy, egg-shaped 3-valved capsules, 20-30mm across, covered with soft green or red spines and containing 3 smooth mottled black and fawn seeds, about 10mm long.|
|Food source for:|
|Toxicity:||Toxic if ingested, potential allergen, irritant sap, toxic or irritant to domestic pets, toxic to native animals|
|Origin:||Africa and Asia|
|Notes:||Spread by: seeds explosively ejected some distance from the parent plant at maturity; also water, contaminated soil and garden waste. Invades/threats: creek banks, neglected areas and roadsides. Capable of forming dense populations. Notes: widespread, large colonies throughout the region. Poisonous: plants can cause respiratory and eye irritation; seeds extremely toxic and can be lethal to both humans and stock. Castor oil produced from seeds is used medicinally and in industry.|
|Information sources:||Mackay Regional Pest Management Group (2018) Weeds of the Mackay Whitsunday Region Second Edition.|