Castor Bean Substitute. Anything Non-Poisonous?

phelansmomMarch 8, 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. It will be next to a Miscanthus sinensis 'Strictus' plus other ornamental grasses, rudebeckia and pineleaf penstemon (substitute for invasive Japanese Blood Grass..colorwise.)

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

I thought about an 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 an aha moment yet.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Hi Phelansmom!

Before I answer your question, I have to admit that I've grown Castor Bean 'Carmencita' the past couple of years, and I have 3 children, the youngest of which is now 5. They were taught that every part of the plant was poisonous, and to not touch it. Never had any issues with them bothering it.

Here's a picture of it at the end of July in 2010:

That really doesn't do it justice though. It was close to six feet tall by the fall and gave the garden a tropical look that is difficult to achieve in this climate.

There are a couple of options though, and you mentioned one - Hibiscus, thought the variety that would look closest to Castor Bean is 'Mahogany Splendor', which unfortunately is an annual.

The other idea I had is also an annual, Burgunday Okra. It's very ornamental, and has the added benefit of being edible. Probably would have to start it indoors though. I tried direct sowing and it never got more than a couple of feet tall, even though it's supposed to be 4' -5' in height.

Bonnie

Here is a link that might be useful: Hibiscus 'Mahogany Splendor'

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 7:50PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
What did You Prepare and Eat from the Garden, Today?
A mix of Soldier and Jacob's Cattle beans with onions,...
digit
Anyone interested in unusual peonies take a look at Adelman's
Just got the catalog for Adelmans Peony Paradise for...
lizbest1
Ready for Harvest :o)
Here's what some of the plants look like in my greenhouse...
digit
Holly, potatoes!
I tried to send you an email but apparently the mobile...
ZachS. z5 Littleton, CO
getting ready!
So I decided to remodel my seed starting this year....
ZachS. z5 Littleton, CO
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™