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Identify a Hidcote Border plant

Hi all,

First message here. I am trying to find out the name of a plant seen in a photo of the Hidcote border. I've attached the image and drawn a line pointing to it. Credits to the photographer.

It has a tall stem with red/maroon leaves that are horizontal and flat.

Anyone shed any light?




  • BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
    It looks like it might be the red castor oil plant Ricinus.

    If it is this plant then it is a tender plant and you would need to overwinter it in a heated green house or a conservatory I think. 
  • Thank you for such a quick response - indeed it seems the same one. A little background reading tells me it's poisonous, so not a good option with children and animals in the garden. The toxic agent is Ricin!

    The search for something similar but safe continues.

  • BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
    I think it's just the seeds that are poisonous. I used to have the more hardy one in my seaside garden, the plain green one, and i used to snap off the flowering head if it appeared. Then I didn't get the poisonous seeds. I had young children and pets there with no problems from the plant. 

    Others might have extra knowledge on this though. 
  • Thanks that's good information.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,963
    edited January 2019
    It's a plant I'd like to grow but don't coz I have a dog.
    All parts of the plant are very toxic and I'm not prepared to take the risk.
    I grow lots of other plants that are toxic to some extent, but when it comes to something from which ricin is obtained - I'll pass

    PS If you want something with similar leaves that's a bit more permanent there are plenty of acers that have similar red leaves

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
    I agree Pete, I think if you have concerns then it's best to give it a miss OP. 
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,279
    It is easy to grow as an annual from seed. The seeds are poisonous , so if you have animals that like to chew your garden plants, I would steer clear.
     The red leaved one is often sold as castor oil seed, "Impala"
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