Woody Rosary Pea
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Woody Rosary Pea
P Native Photo: S. Kasim
Common name: Woody Rosary Pea
Botanical name: Abrus fruticulosus    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Abrus schimperi, Hoepfneria africana

Woody Rosary Pea is a prostrate subshrub or a woody climber up to 6 m long. Leaves are compound with 12-34 oblong, obovate-oblong or ovate leaflets, flat to broadly rounded and mucronulate at tip. Inflorescence is rather slender, usually straight, flowers in clusters on cushion-like reduced branchlets. They are pea-shaped, pale purple to almost white. Pod is oblong to linear-oblong, compressed, 4-12-seeded, seeds usually strongly compressed, grayish-brown to reddish-brown, sometimes speckled. Woody Rosary Pea occurs on roadsides, along streams, in thickets and edges of lowland rain forest up to 1000 m altitude. It is found in India, Tropical Africa, Madagascar, S. China and Indo-China.
Medicinal uses: Roots of Woody Rosary Pea are used to treat digestive disorders. The leaves are employed to sweeten traditional medicines used in the central regions of Thailand. The stems have been used to tie together materials in harbor works.

Identification credit: S. Kasim Photographed in Radhapuram, Tamil Nadu.

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