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Botanical Name(s): Ricinus Communis
Family Name: Eeuphorbiaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily: Acalyphoideae
Tribe: Acalypheae
Sub-tribe: Ricininae
Genus: Ricinus
Species: R. communis
Popular Name(s): Palma Christi, Ricin, Wonder Tree, Krapata, Djarak, Reer, Arandi, Mexico Seed, Vatari, Eranda, Rendi, Bofareira.
Parts Used: Leaves, seeds, roots, oil, fruit
Habitat: Common in distributed areas and wastelands.

An herbaceous annual plant, castor grows to a height of 3 to 10 feet. The long-stalked glossy leaves are 15 to 45 cm in length with 5-12 deep lobes. The leaf color can vary from dark green with a reddish tinge to dark reddish purple and bronze. The stout stem and spiny seed pods may vary in pigmentation. The male flowers are yellowish-green in color, having prominent creamy stamens, while the female flowers bear prominent red stigmas at the tips of the spikes. The suckering perennial shrub is known to grow very fast.

The spiny greenish capsule fruit of castor is capsule-shaped and contains large, oval, shiny, bean-like highly poisonous seeds. Though castor is native to south-eastern Mediterranean Basin, Eastern Africa and India, it is spread widely throughout the tropical regions. Castor is known as arandi in Hindi, divel in Gujarati, errand in Marathi, aavadam in Telugu, aamanakku in Tamil and aralenne in Kannada.

Plant Chemicals
(+)- fatty oil (42-55%), proteins (20-25%), lectins (0.1-0.7%), ricin D (RCA-60: severely toxic, RCA-120: less toxic), pyridine alkaloids, ricinoleic acid (12-hydroxy-oleic acid 85-90%), tocopherols (Vitamin E).

Uses & Benefits of Castor