Effects of Nitrogen and Phosphorus Rates on Growth, Yield and oil Cuntent of Four Varieties of Castor (Ricinus communis L.)

Filed in Articles by on December 10, 2022

Effects of Nitrogen and Phosphorus Rates on Growth, Yield, and oil Cuntent of Four Varieties of Castor (Ricinus communis L.).


Three trials to study the effects of N and P rates on growth, yield, and seed oil content of four castor varieties were conducted during the rainy seasons of 2006 – 2008 on the research farm of the Institute for Agricultural Research, A.B.U Samaru Zaria,(110 11‟ N, 070 38E, and 686m above sea level).

The treatments, which consisted of three levels of N (0,60 and 120 kg/ha), three levels of P (0, 7.92, and 15.84 kg/ha), and four castor cultivars (Ex-Brazil 1, Ex-Brazil 2, Ex-India 1, and Ex-India 2) were laid out in split-plot design with a factorial combination of N and P levels allocated to the main plots.

While the four varieties were assigned to the subplots the treatments were replicated three times. The results revealed that the application of 120 kg N/ha and 15.84 kg P/ha produced significantly higher growth, yield, and seed oil content compared with the two lower N and P rates.

Ex-Brazil – 1 (a big seeded variety) produced the best yield,  growth, and yield parameters while Ex-Brazil – 2 (a small-seeded variety) produced the highest seed oil content, indicating that the Brazilian varieties were better adapted to the Northern Guinea Savanna ecological zone compared with their Indian varieties.

Ex-India – 2 was the least adapted variety. The two big seeded varieties (Ex-Brazil – 1 and Ex-India – 2) had the highest height-to-first-capsule and capsule diameter and more S and Na content of leaves.

The small-seeded varieties (Ex-Brazil – 2 and Ex-India – 1) had the highest number of days to 50% first flowering, higher plant count at harvest and higher Ca, N, P, K, and seed oil content.


Castor bean (Ricinus communis L.) belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae. It was first named and described by Carl Von Linne (Linneaus) who used the term Communis to describe the plant‟s common occurrence (communis meaning “Common”),

and used the inventive term Ricinus to refer to the interesting tick appearance of the seed, which resembles a huge tick engorged with blood (Brigham, 1970 a and b).

Castor plant, although commonly referred to as “bean” is not a legume. It is a non-food oilseed crop, whose seed is inedible in the raw state. It is mainly grown for its seeds which contain oil that has many pharmaceutical, medicinal, and industrial properties despite its potentially toxic effects (Weiss, 1971).

According to FAO (1993), the current total average world production of castor seeds stands at 1,582, 300 metric tones per annum, Africa accounts for only about 3.6% of this. In Nigeria, castor mostly grows wild but is produced in small holdings of one to four hectares per farmer with an average yield of 500 – 600kg/ha annually (Denovan and Landsberge, 1999).

There are varied opinions regarding the origin of castor. Sethi (1931) and Zimmerman (1958) held the view that, although castor is cultivated throughout India, it is indigenous to Africa; However, Uzogara et al. (1990) affirmed that it is native to India mainly based on the knowledge of the medicinal value of this plant in India.


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CSN Team.

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