Invasive Alien Species
Species Name: Ricinus communis
- Family Name:
- Probably tropical Africa
- Erect herb annual to semi-woody perennial shrub or tree, up to 400 cm tall, sometimes grown for its economic (castor oil) or ornamental. Stem stout, hairless, whitish surface, cylindrical, branched, well developed nodes, internodes hollow. Leaves alternate, green to purplish, long glandular petioles, palmate, radially cleft with 8-10 lanceolate lobes, glandularly toothed margins. Inflorescence terminal raceme, many flowered, monoecious, yellowish-white, the male flower below, the female flower above. Fruit a capsule, many clustered together, spiny, 3-seeded, exploding violently when ripe; seed numerous, oily, elliptical, somewhat flattened, smooth, variously mottled, poisonous.
- Invaded Habitat:
- Prefers pastures, along roadside and waste areas.
- It is a fast growing and short-lived thicket forming plant that shades out native species. Seeds are dispersed by birds and mammals and may remain dormant in the soil for several years.
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