Non-Poisonous Substitute for Castor Bean in Garden Plan?

phelansmomMarch 7, 2012

I am planning on installing a new garden based on a Sunset Garden Plan. The plan includes a Dwarf Red Spire Castor Bean which is not an option with a 5 year old.

Is there another plant with a similar texture/color/height?

I thought about a Angelica gigas for texture and color, or a "Turn of the Century" Hibiscus(yikes though about the japanese beetles!)for foliage style. But I haven't had a aha moment yet.

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mytime(3/4 Alaska)

Some Rodgersia are hardy to zone 4 and many to zone 5 (if maybe you have or can make a microclimate in your yard these might work). They have large leaves, some are colored similar to the castor bean you are trying to replace, and some have a similar height. If you don't find anything else, this might be worth a try.

I love baneberry, but have young grandchildren, so for the time being make certain I remove all the flowers, and thus temptation. The berries are so beautiful that I can't bear to destroy the plants.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 12:22AM
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xaroline(zone 3 Calgary)

How about ornamental corn? zea mays japonica?
It has pretty multi colored leaves.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 10:41AM
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Is this area in the sun/shade? Do you want to have perennials or annuals? I found Angelica to become invasive after several years-make sure you remove all the seed heads helps also.Mine spread thought their roots into the rest of the bed , under apath walkway also into gardens that were father away.
Have you thought of using several varieties of canna lilies.
Take care Lois

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 7:21PM
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gardenmom(z4 WA)

How about a black lace elderberry? I just put one in, after having lived for a few years in zone7 where I had some beautiful small Japanese maples. I'm too cold for the Japanese maples, but the black lace elder made it through the winter. Another idea may be a purple smoke bush.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 7:38PM
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clairabelle(z4 Quebec)

Not sure about the emplacement, but how about Verbena bonariensis? Grows to over 5ft tall (perennial in zone 9, but I've planted from seed in my zone (4) with no problems). Full sun required. Lovely blooms well into fall.

or... Cotinus coggyra (I believe it's smoke bush?)
or... if full sun, tall sunflowers?
or... another annual, Nicotinia sylvestris alata (the tall perfumed and big-leafed species)
or... any of several varieties of Weigela. I personally love "Carnaval" variegated, creamy two-toned pink flowers practically all summer...

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 3:54PM
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xaroline(zone 3 Calgary)

There are several ornamental forms of Amaranthus.
Also hibiscus acetosella has red leaves.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 7:34AM
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