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Pakistan | Family List | Papilionaceae | Abrus

Abrus precatorius Linn., Syst.Nat.ed. 12:472. 1767. Baker l.c. 175; Cooke l.c. 382; Talbot l.c. 396; Parker, For.Fl.Punj.ed.3.156.1956.

  • Glycine abrus Linn.

    Perennial climber, branches slender, glabrous or sparsely silky. Stipules 3.5 -6 mm long, linear, deciduous. Leaves 5-10 cm long. Petiole 0.6-1.2 cm long. Leaflets 10-20 pairs, opposite, petiolule less than 1 mm, lamina 0.8-2.2 cm long, 3.5-6 cm broad, oblong, tip rounded, apiculate, glabrous above, sparsely hairy below. Racemes axillary, pedunculate, shorter or equalling the leaves. Pedicels short. Calyx 2.5 mm long, glabrous or sparsely silky, teeth very short. Corolla pink or white with a pink tinge, vexillum 9-10 mm long. Pod 2.5-4.2 cm long, 1-1.3 cm broad, oblong. Seeds 3-5, ovoid, 7-8 mm long, scarlet with a black spot at the hilum, sometimes white with a black spot or uniformly black or white.

    Fl.Per.: July-October.

    Type: Herb. Hermann vol.2.fol.6 (BM).

    Distribution: Pakistan; throughout India, Ceylon and Tropical Africa; introduced widely in the new and the old world; often planted.

    The seeds are commonly used by jewellers as weights. They are poisonous and are put to many medicinal uses.

    According to the sub specific classification proposed by Verdcourt (Kew Bull.24:240. 1970) our specimens belong to Abrus precatorius ssp. precatorius.


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