Abrus precatorius L.
Frost tender deciduous climber, the leaves consisting of numerous pairs of oblong leaflets, and red to pale purple, rarely white, flowers in spring, followed by oblong pods, to 6cm long. To 3.5m. [RHSD, Hortus].
Horticultural & Botanical History
The scarlet and black seeds have been used as beads for Rosaries. The acrid resins from the roots were used medicinally as a demulcent. The seeds, each weighing one carat, were used for centuries to weigh gold. [EB, Don]. Introduced to Britain in 1680. [PD]. Figured as a line drawing in Flora Fluminensis vol.7 t.98/1827.
History at Camden Park
Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [T.3/1850].
Published Feb 15, 2009 - 04:42 PM | Last updated Jul 18, 2010 - 03:43 PM