Foto info
ative Photo: Pravin Kawale
Common name: Coral bead vine, Rosary pea • Hindi: रत्ती Ratti, गुंची Gunchi • Sanskrit: गुंजा Gunjaa • Kannada: गुलगुंजी Gulugunji • Bengali: गुंच Gunch • Gujarati: Ratti रत्ती • Tamil: குந்து மணி kundu maNi • Marathi: गुंज Gunja
Botanical name: Abrus precatorius    Family: Fabaceae (pea family)

A high-climbing, twining, or trailing woody vine with alternately compound leaves, indigenous to India. Leaves alternate, 5-13 cm long, even-pinnately compound with 5-15 pairs of leaflets, these oval to oblong, to 1.8 cm long, with margins entire. The flowers, shaped like pea flowers, are small, pale, violet to pink and arranged in clusters. Fruit a short, oblong pod, splitting before falling to reveal 3-8 shiny hard seeds, 6-7 mm long, scarlet with black bases. The seeds of abrus precatorius are much valued in native jewelry for their bright coloration. The third of the bean with the hilum (attachment scar) is black, while the rest is bright red, suggesting a ladybug. Jewelry-making with jequirity seeds is dangerous, and there have been cases of death by a finger-prick while boring the seeds for beadwork. The seeds were traditionally used to weigh jewellery in India. The measure ratti रत्ती is equal to the weight of one seed.
Photographed in Alibag, Maharashtra.
Identification credit: Pravin Kawale • Is this flower misidentified? If yes,