Abrus precatorius

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

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  • Botanical Name : Abrus precatorius L.

  • Synonyms : Glycine abrus L.
  • Common Name : Chanothi, Gunj.
  • Common Name Details :
  • Plant Family : Papilionaceae

  • Plant Form : Climbers
  • Occurrence (Sectors) : 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 25
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Van Chetana Kendra, Basan, Indroda Park

About Abrus precatorius Plant :

  • Habit : A perennial climber.
  • Branches : More or less hairy or glabrous.
  • Leaves : Abruptly pinnate, light green in colour, 5-10 cm long; leaflets 10-20 pairs, glabrous above, more or less hairy beneath, ligulate, oblong.
  • Inflorescence : Flowers crowded in many-flowered racemes.
  • Flowers :
    • Calyx long, glabrous or slightly silky.
    • Corolla long, pink or rosy or sometimes white.
    • Stamens 9, monadelphous.
    • Ovary stalked, Style incurved, Stigma capitate.
  • Fruits : Pods flat, beaked, stout, turgid, 2.5-3 cm long about 1cm broad.
  • Seeds : 3-5 in number, 5-6 mm long, polished, subglobose, bright red with a black spot at one end.
  • Flowering and Fruiting time : Towards the end of the monsoon and later, September - December.
  • Significance :
    • The fresh leaves are cooked and eaten as vegetable.
    • The roots are employed as a substitute for liquorice.
    • The seeds are variously administered internally in nervous disorders, but much caution is needed in the use of the seeds as they possess a strong blood-coagulant, which may cause death.
    • The seeds have been used as fine weights by jewelers and goldsmiths (6 seeds = 1 anna in weight).