Castor Bean | Growing Taller | Update 1

Our View From Iowa

Update: August 25, 2014

The castor bean plant is now over 7 feet tall. This picture is from the same spot as one take in the previous post two weeks ago. See farther down this page. Click on the image to see a much larger version.

Over 7 feet tall August 24, 2014 Over 7 feet tall August 24, 2014 – click to enlarge

Ten days ago, I photographed the emerging seed bearing parts at the top. They weren’t flowering yet.

Emerging seed parts - August 14, 2014 - click to enlarge Emerging seed parts – August 14, 2014 – click to enlarge

Today, the seeds are more developed. The field of view is a foot tall. They will be watched over to keep children and animals from eating them.

Seed parts and flowering - August 24, 2014 - click to enlarge Seed parts and flowering – August 24, 2014 – click to enlarge

For a sense of size, I placed my hand near the main stalk about 4 feet off the ground. There is a large black ant near…

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14 thoughts on “Castor Bean | Growing Taller | Update 1

  1. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a castor bean plant, but it looks like a lot of fun to raise. Maybe I’ll have to look for some castor bean seeds next year. I somehow missed your original post of the castor bean. I didn’t previously know that castor oil is made from a bean plant.

  2. I wonder now whether this is Ricinus communis or not, as the flowers look a bit different; but it’s definitely Ricinus, a Monoicous plant, with the male flowers at the bottom and the female flowers on top. Thanks for sharing what seems to be a variety of the one I saw.

  3. And if I’m not mistaken, some of these monoicous plants are self pollinating also, although they also rely on ants to do the job, they self pollinate and spread like crazy. The state of Florida and P.R. is full of these.

    • Correction: “self-fertile” is the appropriate term, not “self-pollinating”, although many still use these terms interchangeably. Castor bean is both self-fertile and cross-pollinated by wind.

  4. This is the second part of my post. It has pictures of the flower and pod. After the plant has flowered, it turns into a round, brown dry pod, only then the seeds are ready to be taken out. If you do it sooner, the seeds will be soft and premature. It could be, I was thinking, that perhaps in the tropics these plants mature quicker than in a temperate zone. This is why the plant in the picture I took looks a tad different:

    • I read both parts of your posts on the plant. They were very informative. I will be patient for the seeds to dry. I hope there is enough time here in the 42nd parallel for them to reach maturity.


  5. You’re welcome, yes, I hope you’re in time to see the pods turning brown. Here in P.R. it’s so hot, they have their “ideal” temperatures.

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