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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 BPosts: 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 BPosts: 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 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,504
    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
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • BijdezeeBijdezee BPosts: 1,484
    I agree Pete, I think if you have concerns then it's best to give it a miss OP. 
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 15,855
    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"
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
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