Ricinus communis L. (AKA castorbean) is a common plant found throughout Indiana. Although an annual, it can easily reach heights of 10 feet in a growing season. Castor oil comes from the beans of the plant, however, the beans as well as the plant, are extremely poisonous. Only through a refining process, can the castor oil be separated from the poisonous compounds. More information about castorbean is available from Purdue's Indiana Plants Poisonous to Livestock and Pets.
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Last updated: 6 January 2001/tlm.
The Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue University.