Abrus precatorius L.


Abrus precatorius is a small, perennial, high climbing vine.
Alternate compound leaves, 2-5 in. (5-13 cm) long, with 5 to 15 pairs of oblong leaflets. A key characteristic in identifying Abrus precatorius is the lack of a terminal leaflet on the compound leaves.
The flowers are small, pale, and violet to pink, clustered in leaf axils.
The fruit is characteristic of a legume. The pod is oblong, flat and truncate shaped, roughly 1.5-2 in. (3.8-5 cm) long. This seedpod curls back when it opens, revealing the seeds. The seeds are small, brilliant red with a black spot.
Ecological Threat
Abrus precatorius can grow over small trees and shrubs. Roots grow very deeply onto the ground and are very difficult to remove. Fire encourages the growth of Abrus precatorius.


Selected Images


EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Genus: Abrus
Subject: Abrus precatorius L.

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
crab's eye, jequerity, pois rouge, precatory bean, tento muido


Plants - Vines