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*Abrus precatorius Linnaeus. Rosary Pea, Precatory Bean, Crab's Eyes, Jequirity, Black-eyed Susan. Phen: Jun-Sep. Hab: Disturbed areas. Dist: Native of the Paleotropics. The species is naturalized in peninsular FL, as far as north as Marion County; it was also apparently reported for GA, AL, and AR by Isely (1998) and Kartesz (1999), but this is actually based on mislabeling in Map 64 in Isely (1998).

Origin/Endemic status: Paleotropics

Taxonomy Comments: Two subspecies have been recognized, and originate rom different continents (see synonymy). Both are present as introductions in our region, and apparently hybridize, making their recognition difficult. Ssp. precatorius originated in s. Asia and has smooth legume surfaces. Ssp. africanus originated in Africa and has muricate legume surfaces.

Other Comments: The beautiful black-and-red beans have been traditionally used for jewelry and rosaries; they are extremely poisonous, though, and should be used with caution.

Synonymy: = Bah, Fl3, FNA11.1, K1, K3, K4, SE3, WH3, Isely (1998); = Abrus abrus (L.) W.Wight – S; > Abrus precatorius L. ssp. africanus Verdc.; > Abrus precatorius L. ssp. precatorius

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Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain: UPL

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image of plant© Keith Bradley | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© J.W. Hardin | Original Image ⭷


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