a genus of plants of the natural order leguminosoe, sub-order papilionaceoe, of which the only known species, Abrus precatorius, is a shrub, originally belonging to India, where it is chiefly found in clayey soils, but now not uncommon in the West Indies and other tropical regions. The roots possess properties exactly similar to those of the common liquorice. The seeds are nearly spherical, as large as small peas, of a scarlet color, with a black scar, and are familiar enough to most people in Britain, being used as beads. They are narcotic.
Source: The American Universal Cyclopedia, 1882












   

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