Castor Oil Seed
25 October 2011 14:27:00
I collected my castor oil seeds about a week ago.
With all the rain, I feared I would loose them to rotting.
I should probably have left them mature/dry a bit longer as I may have gotten some late developers to become viable if I had but, instead, I decided to to deal with them today.
Ricinus communis is a great ornamental plant and you can never have too many of them in summer! The seeds aren't cheap to buy too so it's worth going to a bit of trouble to get enough seed for next year.
So, the first job was to removed the red seed heads. Wear gloves - the seeds are poisonous and cause nasty rashes!
Then I peeled off the white inner husk - tedious and hard.
Then I tested each resultant seed by squeezing firmly. Watch out for them flying across the kitchen and make sure to find all of them as you don't want the baby or cat eating it!
The viability rate on Ricinus is low so I wanted to ensure that I don't waste my time in spring, sowing dud seeds. Any seeds which 'gave' at all were ruthlessly discarded as immature. I discarded about two thirds of my seed. In spring I will probably test again before sowing.