rosary pea


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Related to rosary pea: hemlock, water hemlock, wolfsbane

rosary pea

n.
A tropical woody vine (Abrus precatorius) widely naturalized in Florida, having small hard poisonous seeds that are scarlet with a black spot and are used as beads. Also called jequirity bean.
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Extracting abrin from rosary pea seeds and processing into a powder that can then be used to contaminate food or water does not require great expertise in chemistry.
"Then spray the string of beads with dimethyl sulfoxide which will dissolve and carry the abrin through the skin." Dimethyl sulfoxide, or DMSO, does enhance the absorption of chemicals through the skin and there are stories floating around about people stringing rosary pea seeds for jewelry accidentally sticking themselves and succumbing to the poison.
Although the rosary pea has toxic berries, the leaves are sweet-tasting.