Abrus precatorius

Family: Fabaceae

Common Name: Saga, (Tagalog), Rosary Pea, Matang Pusa, Berdegonis (Ilocano), Oyang-ya (Visayas), Mata-Mata, Mata ni Kenkoy, Jaquerity Pea, Wild Liquorice

Reference: Co’s Digital Flora of the Philippines Facebook Group

Origin: probably a native of tropical Asia, found in South Africa, China, West Indies, Brazil and India (Stuartxchange)

The seeds are very attractive and are made into bracelets or chokers as protection from bad spirits. The seeds are also toxic! Strange to think that bracelets made of toxic seeds are put on infants. The seeds contain the toxin abrin, a ribosome inhibitor. According to Trinket C, no need to remove the plant because “the toxin is only very potent when purified”.

It is a vine. I found it growing at the compost area. I couldn’t see the leaves or flowers of the plant.


update: I know what the leaves look like. It looks like an Ipil-Ipil seedling that’s growing like a vine. I see it in shady areas.


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