Ricinus March 2010-1.jpg
Leaves and flowers (male flowers on top) of a castor oil plant
Scientific classification edit
R. communis
Binomial name
Ricinus communis
Green variant of Ricinus communis, post-bloom, with developing seed capsules

Ricinus communis, the castor bean[1] or castor oil plant,[2] is a species of perennial flowering plant in the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae. It is the sole species in the monotypic genus, Ricinus, and subtribe, Ricininae. The evolution of castor and its relation to other species are currently being studied using modern genetic tools.[3] It reproduces with a mixed pollination system which favors selfing by geitonogamy but at the same time can be an out-crosser by anemophily (wind pollination) or entomophily (insect pollination).[4]

Its seed is the castor bean, which, despite its name, is not a true bean. Castor is indigenous to the southeastern Mediterranean Basin, Eastern Africa, and India, but is widespread throughout tropical regions (and widely grown elsewhere as an ornamental plant).[5]

Castor seed is the source of castor oil, which has a wide variety of uses. The seeds contain between 40% and 60% oil that is rich in triglycerides, mainly ricinolein. The seed also contains ricin, a water-soluble toxin, which is also present in lower concentrations throughout the plant.

An unrelated plant species, Fatsia japonica (false castor oil plant), is similar in appearance but is from Japan.


The name Ricinus is a Latin word for tick; the seed is so named because it has markings and a bump at the end that resemble certain ticks. The genus Ricinus [6] also exists in zoology, and designates insects (not ticks) which are parasites of birds; this is possible because the names of animals and plants are governed by different nomenclature codes.[citation needed]

The common name "castor oil" probably comes from its use as a replacement for castoreum, a perfume base made from the dried perineal glands of the beaver (castor in Latin).[7] It has another common name, palm of Christ, or Palma Christi, that derives from castor oil's reputed ability to heal wounds and cure ailments.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Kasterolieboom
አማርኛ: ጉሎ
العربية: خروع
asturianu: Ricinus communis
Avañe'ẽ: Mba'ysyvo vai
azərbaycanca: Gənəgərçək
تۆرکجه: گنه گرچک
বাংলা: ভেন্না
беларуская: Клешчавіна
български: Рицин
català: Ricí
čeština: Skočec obecný
Cymraeg: Trogenllys
dansk: Ricinus
Deutsch: Wunderbaum
eesti: Riitsinus
Ελληνικά: Ρίκινος
euskara: Akain-belar
français: Ricin commun
galego: Rícino
ગુજરાતી: દિવેલી
한국어: 피마자
Hausa: Zirman
հայերեն: Տզկանեփ
हिन्दी: अरंडी
hornjoserbsce: Wšědny ricinus
Bahasa Indonesia: Jarak (tumbuhan)
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಔಡಲ
Kapampangan: Tangan-tangan
ქართული: აბუსალათინი
қазақша: Үпілмәлік
Kreyòl ayisyen: Maskreti
kurdî: Kerçik
latviešu: Rīcinaugs
magyar: Ricinus
മലയാളം: ആവണക്ക്
मराठी: एरंड
Bahasa Melayu: Pokok Jarak
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ကြက်ဆူပင်
Nederlands: Wonderboom
नेपाली: अँडिर
नेपाल भाषा: अलःमा
日本語: トウゴマ
norsk: Ricinus
norsk nynorsk: Kristpalme
occitan: Ricin
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Kanakunjut
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਅਰਿੰਡ
پنجابی: ارنڈ
پښتو: ارهنډه
português: Mamona
română: Ricin
русский: Клещевина
संस्कृतम्: एरण्डसस्यम्
Simple English: Castor oil plant
سنڌي: ھيرڻ
српски / srpski: Ricinus
Basa Sunda: Jarak
svenska: Ricin (växt)
Tagalog: Lansina
தமிழ்: ஆமணக்கு
lea faka-Tonga: Lepo
українська: Рицина
Tiếng Việt: Thầu dầu
Xitsonga: Nhlampfurha
中文: 蓖麻