Abrus fruticulosus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Fabales Fabaceae

Scientific Name: Abrus fruticulosus Wight & Arn.
Taxonomic Notes: The taxonomy of this species is debated. Breteler (1960) reduces Abrus pulchellus and A.mollis and others to synonyms of A.fruticulosus. Kumar and Sane (2003), for example, list A. fruticulosus as a recognized species with no synonyms.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2010-07-18
Assessor(s): Chadburn, H.
Reviewer(s): Hilton-Taylor, C.
The taxonomic and identification problems with this species make estimates of the extent of occurrence (EOO) difficult. The population, has suffered a decline in India (Sanjappa pers. comm. 2011) which could possibly, if this species is treated as an Indian endemic, result in a threatened status. However, if other Abrus species are synonymized with it, it would greatly exceed the threshold for a threatened category. A greater degree of taxonomic certainty is needed and this species is assessed as Data Deficient due to the lack of this information.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Following the taxonomy used by Kumar and Sane (2003) and Pullaiah and Sri Ramamurthy (2001) this species is endemic to India. ILDIS Legume web also lists this species as native to Java, with an uncertain presence in the Philippines. However, the only herbarium specimens found from Java are A.precatorius and for the Philippines A.precatorius and A.pulchellus. If Abrus pulchellus and A. mollis are reduced to synonyms of this species, as suggested by Breteler (1960), then the range is much wider in tropical Asia and Africa. Abrus fruticulosus is known to be a variable species, so specimens need careful verification if these species are treated separately.
Countries occurrence:
India (Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Dadra-Nagar-Haveli, Daman, Delhi, Diu, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu-Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Pondicherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal)
Present - origin uncertain:
Benin; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cameroon; Côte d'Ivoire; Ethiopia; Gabon; Ghana; Liberia; Nigeria; Papua New Guinea; Senegal; Thailand; Togo; Viet Nam; Zambia
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):60
Upper elevation limit (metres):1000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is reported as sparse in some parts of its range in India. It is believed to have suffered a population decline over the last 10 years here, however, this is not thought to be greater than 30%, and there are thought to be more than 10,000 mature individuals (Sanjappa pers. comm. 2011).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This small woody vine, generally three to five metres in length. It occurs in forest, coastal forest in Tamil Nadu, and secondary bush and along road edges. It is a very variable species and can take the form of a straggling shrub in dry, sunny, open woods and grassland.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The roots of this species are used to treat stomach problems. The leaves are utilized to sweeten traditional medicines in the central regions of Thailand. The stems have been employed as a form of rope in harbour works (Lemmens and Breteler 1999).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is likely to suffer from the general threats associated with habitat loss, as a result of expanding human populations. However, clarification of the taxonomy of this species is needed in order to determine any specific threats. If, for example, it is treated as an endemic to Tamil Nadu, it has a very restricted range and specific threats, including habitat damage by tsunami and wood plantations (Sanjappa pers. comm. 2011).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No specific conservation measures are in place for this species. It is recorded as part of the living plant collection of the National Botanic Gardens in Belgium. It was not found in available lists of seed bank species. Monitoring of its habitat status and threats, and its population status in India, are recommended in view of noted declines here. However, further taxononic work is required to clarify the taxonomic position of this species, in order to determine its geographical range, before conservation measures can be determined.

Citation: Chadburn, H. 2012. Abrus fruticulosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T19891683A19995804. . Downloaded on 22 September 2018.
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