The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Can anyone identify this plant?


By blyco


Hi, I saw a plant like this growing wild in Minorca last year, and collected a couple of seed pods on impulse. These were sown in pots in a propogator in March this year and planted out in the garden at the end of May. The one pictured is about 5ft high with the larger leaves about 1ft wide, and the flower spike is about 1ft long. What is it, will it survive the winter outside, and if so how big will it get? The parent plant was about 6ft high and bushy, it had both flowers (September) and dried seed pods which suggests that (in Minorca) it lasts for more than 1 season. I have since been to mainland Spain (Salou) and to Majorca but have not seen the same plant, which suggests that it is a) very rare or b) a weed that nobody wants!

More blog posts by blyco



Looks like the Castor Oil Plant, ricinus communis. If it is, they can reach ten feet but are not hardy in the UK

5 Nov, 2007


Thanks Andrew, it's nice to know it's not a "Trifid", bit disapointed it's "only" a Castor Oil Plant though. - Brian.

6 Nov, 2007


At least it's not a False Castor Oil plant Blyco (fatsia japonica)! :-)

6 Nov, 2007


Fatsia Japonica is a very useful plant in most gardens ,very attractive leaves and easy to grow.

7 Nov, 2007


hi blyco, would agree with andrew on the name, but i think it depends on where you live as to how hardy it is, i live in the southeast - just outside of london and a neighbour has several of these growing in there front garden that overwintered! but then again i have a bird of paradise in my back garden that has overwintered, both are in sheltered spots, my bird is planted under the canopy of a holly tree - sounds strange but it atucally looks really good and the evergreen holly has protected it! - you could always try protecting the main part of the plant with flease, but take some seeds or cuttings for greenhouse/cold frame just incase.

15 Nov, 2007

Add a comment