The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

By Mexico

United Kingdom Gb

can anyone identify this plant i seen at Cragside in Northumberland as i would like one for my garden
thank you.

Dscf1719 Dscf1720



Looks like a Ricinus communis of some variety, though the leaves on this one are exceptionally large. Is only an annual here, grown from seed in early Spring indoors, or you can buy small plants in late spring at the garden centre.

28 Aug, 2011


Is that the same as Castor Oil Plant? We had one that outgrew the house so put it in the garden - they are quite common on the west coast. It grew fine in the garden for several years until it grew too large and had to go altogether. Ours was a plainer green than the one pictured.

28 Aug, 2011


I think you're thinking of Fatsia japonica, Bulbaholic - they're hardy and look similar, but green. Both Ricinus and Fatsia are commonly called Castor Oil Plant, but Ricinus is the castor bean.

28 Aug, 2011


Ricinus communis is the castor oil plant. Fatsia japonica is the false castor oil plant. Trouble is garden centres tend to drop the 'false' so the confusion arises.

That's a reasonably good looking speciment, especially this year. The ones in our local authority flower beds are only about fifteen inches tall. In a good year, they'll reach 6-8ft, around 2m.

As for getting one, Ricinus communis is an annual so you'll need to wait until next spring. Not many garden centres sell the plants but you should be able to grow it from seed quite easily.

28 Aug, 2011


I think that you are both right, yes, it was a Fatsia. Forget what I said above.

28 Aug, 2011

How do I say thanks?

Answer question


Not found an answer?