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.
  1. Backer , C. A. & R. C. Bakhuizen Van Den Brink.  1965.  Flora of Java Vol. I.  N.V. P. Noordhoff. Groningen, Netherlands. 
  2. Koo, S.J., Y. W. Kwon  and D.V. Chin  2005. Common Weeds in Vietnam. Second Edition. Saigon Plant Protection State Limited Company.
  3. Moody, K., C.E. Munroe, R.T. Lubigan and E.C. Paller, Jr.  1984.  Major Weeds of the Philippines. Weed Science Society of the Philippines.
  4. Weber, E.  2003.  Invasive Plant Species of the World.  A Reference Guide to Environmental Weeds.  CAB International Publishing.  548 pages.