R. communis is herbaceous when young but in frost-free areas it can be an evergreen tree that gets up to 12m in height and become woody with age. The wood is soft and light with a thick central pith. Occasionally, irregular brown heartwood develops. The bark is light brown, smooth, and exhibits rings at the nodes and raised lenticels. There are a moderate number of large, star-shaped leaves with 7 to 9 long pointed lobes (Flordiata, 2005; and Francis, UNDATED).
Castor oil has other uses. The oil acts as a barrier agent to protect against harsh climate, and is soothing to the skin. Castor oil forms a clean, light-coloured, transparent soap, which dries and hardens well and is free from odour. Ricinoleic acid and its many derivatives have skin smoothing and moisturizing qualities, and improve various skin conditions such as rough skin and acne. Hydrogenated castor oil and/or its esters, are useful as vehicles or carriers, emollients or solubilizers for toiletry, cosmetic, hair and skin care formulations, and are useful for cleansing and conditioning the skin (Aburjai and Natsheh, 2003).
Principal source: Dove Biotech, UNDATED. Castor Bean (Rincinus communis) an International Botanical Answer to Biodiesel Production and Renewable Energy
Francis, UNDATED. Ricinus communis L. castor bean
Compiler: National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) & IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)
Publication date: 2006-07-05
Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2018) Species profile: Ricinus communis. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/speciesname/Ricinus+communis on 22-03-2018.