- 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.
John K. Francis, Research Forester, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry 
Global Invasive Species Database. 2011. Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) of the IUCN Species Survival Commission 
University of Florida, IFAS Extension, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants 
Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council 
USDA NRCS PLANTS 
USDA ARS GRIN 
Images from Bugwood.org