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Rosary Pea
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Rosary Pea
ative Photo: Pravin Kawale
Common name: Rosary Pea, Coral bead vine, Indian liquorice • Arabic: قيراط qirat • Assamese: লাটুমণি latumani • Bengali: চুনহাতি chunahati, গুঞ্জা gunja, রতি rati • Gujarati: ચણોઠી chanoti, ગુંજા gunja • Hindi: चिर्मिठी chirmithi, घुंघची ghunghchi, गुंज gunj, रत्ती ratti • Kachchhi: અછી ચણોઠી achi chanoti, ચણોઠી જી વલ chanoti ji val, રતી ચનોટી rati chanoti • Kannada: ಗುಲಗಂಜಿ Gulaganji, ಗುರುಗಂಜಿ Gurugunji ಹಾಗ Haaga, ಹೌಡಿಗೆ Haudige • Kashmiri: रछ् ratsh • Konkani: गुंजी gunji, गुर्गुंजी ಗುರ್ಗುಂಜಿ gurgunji, मंजोटी manjoti • Malayalam: ഗുഞ്ജ gunja, കുന്നി kunni • Manipuri: ꯆꯅꯤꯡ ꯃꯩꯃꯨꯕꯤ Chaning meimubi • Marathi: गुंज gunja, मधुयष्टि madhuyashti, रती rati • Nepali: अंखीगेड़ि ankhigedi, रतीगेड़ि ratigedi • Odia: ଗୁଞ୍ଜା gunja, କାକଜଂଘା kakajangha, ରତି rati • Persian: خاکشي khakshi • Punjabi: ਘੂੰਚੀ ghunchi, ਰੱਤੀ ratti • Rajasthani: चिरमी chirmi • Sanskrit: गुञ्जा gunja, काकजङ्घा kakajangha • Tamil: சிகண்டிகை cikantikai, குன்றி kunri, குன்றுமணி kunrumani, குருவிந்தம் kuruvintam • Telugu: అతిమధురము atimadhuramu, గుంజ gunja, గురిగింజ guriginja, గురువింద gurivinda, కుక్కుటము kukkutamu, ముక్కుటము mukkutamu, రక్తిక raktika, సిన్న గురుగింజ sinnaguruginja • Tulu: ಗುರ್ಗುಂಜಿ gurgunji • Urdu: چرمٿهي chirmithi, گهنگچي ghunghchi, گنج gunj, رتي ratti Source: Names of Plants in India
Botanical name: Abrus precatorius    Family: Fabaceae (pea family)

Rosary Pea is 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.

Identification credit: Pravin Kawale Photographed in Alibag, Maharashtra.

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