Common name: Crab’s eye
Botanical name: Abrus precatorius subsp. africanus
Other common names: Gidee-gidee, Jequirity bean, Rosary pea, Precatory bean
General description: This subspecies is native to tropical Africa.
Flowers: The pea flowers are 1–1.2cm long, pink, white or purple.
Leaves: The leaves are alternating on the stem, with 7–15 pairs of oblong leaflets that are 6–25mm long and 2–8mm wide.
Fruit/Berries: The fruit are pods 4–5cm long, and about 12mm wide, dark grey, splitting to reveal bright red and black seeds when ripe. The seeds are about 6mm long, rounded or ovoid, hard and shiny. The seed can sometimes be white and unspotted.
Other: The sap is clear.
Symptoms: Chewed or broken seeds are toxic when ingested. One seed contains sufficient toxin to kill an adult. However, if the seed remains unbroken then the toxin may not be released. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, severe diarrhoea, disorientation and death. Symptoms may be rapid or delayed 1–3 days.
Toxicity category: 1
Warning: Seek urgent medical attention for any ingestion.