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Similar but less problematic plants:
Clematis crispa Clematis crispa
Native alternative(s) for Abrus precatorius:
Gelsemium sempervirens Gelsemium sempervirens
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Akebia quinata Akebia quinata
Ampelopsis brevipedunculata Ampelopsis brevipedunculata
Allamanda cathartica Allamanda cathartica

Rosary Pea Abrus precatorius

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
AH-broos prek-ah-TOR-ee-us
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Seeds which are extremely poisonous if broken are commonly used to make rosary necklaces.  It is native to tropical areas where it has become invasive its seeds spread by birds.  It is not commonly grown in North Carolina but it has become quite weedy in Florida where it has invaded pinelands.  Their deep roots are very difficult to remove.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#tropical#evergreen#sun#deciduous#poisonous#full sun#weedy#legume#toxic#vines#twining#beads#glossy leaves#red fruits#exotic looking
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#tropical#evergreen#sun#deciduous#poisonous#full sun#weedy#legume#toxic#vines#twining#beads#glossy leaves#red fruits#exotic looking
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Abrus
    Species:
    precatorius
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Seeds are used as standards of weight and measurement in jewelry as beads or in percussion instruments
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Tropical
    Distribution:
    Imported to USA
    Climbing Method:
    Twining
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Vine
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Fruit Type:
    Legume
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The seeds, from a pea-shaped oblong flat truncate pod, 1 1/2"-2" long curls back when opening to reveal 3 to 8 hard-coated, glossy, two-toned: brilliant scarlet-red over 2/3 of the length and black over the narrow 1/3. The seeds give its common name of crab's eyes.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Description:
    Small, white to violet-pink, clustered in the axils of leaves.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Pinnately compound leaves alternate, petioled, and 2-5 inches long, with 5 to 15 pairs of oval to oblong leaflets less than 1″ long
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    HIGHLY TOXIC, MAY BE FATAL IF EATEN! If chewed seeds are ingested, then after delay of hours or days: nausea, vomiting, severe abdominal pain and diarrhea, burning in throat; later ulcerative lesions of mouth and esophagus; can be fatal.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Abrin, a protein
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Seeds