Abrus precatorius is an ornamental, twining and woody vine plant which holds Asia and Australia as native. It is popularly known as Rosary Pea and jequirity bean. This herbaceous flowering plant belongs to the bean family Fabaceae under the order Fabales. These plants are found in the regions of South Africa, China, Islands, West Indies, India, Brazil and more. In India, Abrus precatorius plants can be seen all over the plains from the range of Himalayas to Southern India and Ceylon.
As Abrus precatorius is a herbaceous (the plant grow without woody stem) plant, it cannot grow without the help of any other plants, herds or shrubs. It can grow up to the height of 10–20 ft long and the feather-like leaves of this species are arranged alternatively. The flowers are quite smaller with the range of 1–3 inches, and usually, it will be in red to purple or sometimes white. The fruit is about 3 cm long with hard ovoid seeds of 1 cm long. Rosary Pea plant is well-known for its seeds, as they are used for various ornamental and medicinal purposes. Even the roots and leaves of this plant are used for several disorders. It is a poisonous plant because it contains abrin, the indigestion of a single seed can kill both adults and children.
Scientific name: Abrus precatorius
Species: A. precatorius
Species of Abrus Precatorius
Abrus precatorius belongs to the genus Abrus. It nearly has 18 – 20 species, but the genus is popularly known for the plant Abrus precatorius. Here we listed some species that are related to Rosary Pea.
- Abrus aureus R.Vig. (Madagascar)
- Abrus baladensis Thulin es
- Abrus bottae Deflers [fr] (Saudi Arabia, Yemen)
- Abrus canescens Welw. ex Baker (Africa)
- Abrus cantoniensis Hance (China)
- Abrus diversifoliatus Breteler es
- Abrus fruticulosus Wall. ex Wight & Arn. (India)
- Abrus gawenensis Thulin (Somalia)
- Abrus kaokoensis Swanepoel & Kolberg (Namibia)
- Abrus laevigatus E.Mey. (Southern Africa)
- Abrus longibracteatus Labat (Laos, Vietnam)
- Abrus madagascariensis R.Vig. (Madagascar)
- Abrus melanospermus Hassk. (Tropical & Subtropical Asia to SW. Pacific)
- Abrus parvifolius (R.Vig.) Verdc. (Madagascar)
- Abrus precatorius L. – Jequirity (Africa, Australia, Southeast Asia)
- Abrus pulchellus Wall. ex Voigt (Africa)
- Abrus sambiranensis R.Vig. (Madagascar)
- Abrus schimperi Hochst. ex Baker (Africa)
- Abrus somalensis Taub. (Somalia)
- Abrus wittei Baker f. (Zaire)
Abrus Precatorius Cost
The seeds of Rosary Pea are used for various medical and ornamental purposes. So you can buy it from online shopping websites like Amazon, Indiamart, Flipkart, and more. The seeds cost around Rs 99 – Rs 250 ($1.4 – $3.5) per Kg.
Interesting Facts about Abrus Precatorius
- In South Africa, the roots of Rosary Pea is used for curing tuberculosis, bronchitis, whooping cough, chest complaints, and asthma.
- The leaves of Abrus Precatorius are used to make tea by Tanzanian traditional healers which helps to cure epilepsy.
- Traditionally, the seeds are used for decorations, gold-weighing and to make percussion instruments. In Nigeria, they use it for the treatment of diarrhea.
- Rosary Pea flowers bloom between May to September, and the colors of the flower attract the bees and ants for pollination.
- The Fruit of Abrus Precatorius has 3 to 5 seeds. The round-shaped shiny red and black seeds are much poisonous.
- Apart from Rosary Pea and jequirity bean, it has other common names like Crab’s eye, paternoster pea, love pea, precatory pea, prayer bead, John Crow Bead, coral bead, red-bead vine, country licorice, Indian licorice, wild licorice, Jamaica wild licorice, Akar Saga, coondrimany, gidee gidee, Jumbie bead, and weather plant
- It is one of the essential foods for birds, and they play a vital role in spreading the seeds in the wild.
- The toxic content abrin of the plant is used for various medical studies, and it has the potential to kill cancer cells.
- These plants often absorb and collect pesticides and pollution from the soil. So it is not good to eat the green parts like leaves of the plant.
- As it is a perennial plant, the lifespan is around two years.
Abrus Precatorius Images
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