Ricinus New Zealand Purple
Dark leaved Castor oil plant for dramatic foliage, available from 21st May. Best planted out not before end of May.
Ricinus are tender shrubs grown in the UK as an annual. New Zealand Purple is the best variety for very dark leaves which when young have a metalic sheen. The palmate leaves contrast well with many bright flowers and other foliage colours and shapes. Leaves grow to about 10 inches 25 cm across. Plants can grow to 8 feet 2.4m and about 4 feet 1.2 m across. Pot grown they will be about half this size unless well fed. In the ground they should be well fed for the best results and as I grow them often with Canna's they benefit from the same feeding. A sunny warm position for best results and you may get to save some viable seed in a good growing season. A flowering plant but the flower is pretty insignificant. The ricinus with the bright red flowers are not as good or as strong plants and not worth growing compared to this variety. Seeds are formed in attractive dark purple pods like small conker cases.
Avoid planting out until late May or until frost risk has passed. Small plants are susceptable to cold and need hardening off carefully There are very many poisonous garden plants and this is one of them. I have grown them for a number of years and have had no problems treating them with no more care than other garden plants,with no allergies or ill efffects after touching them. Supplied in a 1/2 litre pot.