(Ricinus communis 'Impala')
Impala castor bean plant is an introduced, annual, herbaceous ornamental native to NE Africa but can commonly be found growing throughout the central and southern United States. At maturity, this plant reaches a height of 36-48” and features a red-purplish stem, large purplish leaves with burgundy veins, and clusters of small, yellow/white flowers followed by rounded seed heads that appear spiked. This plant can be grown in a container, has attractive foliage, and is edible and medicinal!
Variety: Impala Castor Bean Plant
Native to: Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia.
Introduced into: Alabama, Albania, Algeria, Andaman Is., Angola, Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Arizona, Arkansas, Aruba, Ascension, Assam, Azores, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bismarck Archipelago, Botswana, Brazil West-Central, Bulgaria, Burkina, Burundi, California, Cambodia, Canary Is., Caprivi Strip, Caroline Is., Cayman Is., Central African Repu, Central American Pac, Central European Rus, Chad, Chagos Archipelago, Chile Central, Chile North, China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Christmas I., Cocos (Keeling) Is., Colombia, Comoros, Cook Is., Costa Rica, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, East Aegean Is., East Himalaya, Easter Is., Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, Florida, Gabon, Galápagos, Gambia, Georgia, Gilbert Is., Greece, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gulf of Guinea Is., Gulf States, Hainan, Haiti, Hawaii, Honduras, Illinois, India, Italy, Jamaica, Juan Fernández Is., Kazan-retto, Kentucky, Kermadec Is., Korea, Leeward Is., Libya, Louisiana, Madagascar, Madeira, Maldives, Mali, Marianas, Marquesas, Marshall Is., Mauritania, Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Mississippi, Missouri, Morocco, Mozambique Channel I, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, New South Wales, New York, New Zealand North, Nicaragua, Nicobar Is., Niue, Norfolk Is., Ogasawara-shoto, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Paraguay, Pitcairn Is., Portugal, Puerto Rico, Queensland, Romania, Rwanda, Selvagens, Senegal, Sicilia, Society Is., Socotra, South China Sea, South European Russi, Southwest Caribbean, Spain, Sri Lanka, St.Helena, Sudan, Sulawesi, Tadzhikistan, Tennessee, Texas, Thailand, Tibet, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad-Tobago, Tuamotu, Tubuai Is., Tunisia, Uruguay, Venezuela, Venezuelan Antilles, Wake I., Wallis-Futuna Is., West Himalaya, Western Sahara, Windward Is., and Zaïre.
Grown as: Annual
Maturity (Blooms): Late summer to early fall.
Hardiness: Winter hardy to USDA Zones 9-11.
Light: Full sun
Water: Medium. Generally, the plant likes around 1 inch of water per week, either from rainfall or manual watering.
Soil Moisture: Castor bean plants like soil that is consistently moist, but you should take care not to overwater them.
Attracts Beneficial Insects?: No.
Containers?: Yes. Castor bean requires a large container.
Sow Depth: 1/4"
USDA Zone: 5-11
Produces: red-purplish stems, large purplish leaves with burgundy veins, and clusters of small, yellow/white flowers followed by rounded seed heads that appear spiked.
Transplant your seedlings into the garden once the soil has warmed after all dangers of frost. Castor Bean prefers a slightly moist soil that has a pH between 5.8 and 7.0. In a sunny location, dig your holes as deep as the pots you are transplanting from and keep a spacing of 24-36" between seedlings. Your soil will need to maintain moisture until your plant is established.
When outdoor temp: 65˚F to 70˚F.