Adenanthera pavonina

Adenanthera pavonina L.

Common Names: Red Lucky Bean, Red Bead Tree, Circassian Seed, Jumbie Bead, Red Sandal Wood, False Sandal Wood

Family: Fabaceae

Habit: Adenanthera pavonina grows as a medium to large size tree up to 20 m. in height and up to 60 cm. in diameter. The leaves are arranged alternately, to 45 cm in length, and are bipinnately compound with 3 – 5 pairs of alternate pinnae each with 11 – 21 alternate leaflets. Each oblong leaflet is to 3 cm in length with a rounded/mucronate leaf apex.

The slightly zygomorphic, complete, perfect flowers are arranged in axillary racemes sometimes slightly paniculate.  The calyx has 5 greenish, unfused sepals.  The corolla has 5 white to light yellow to light orange unfused petals. There are 10 unfused stamens only slightly longer than the petals. The ovary is superior with a single locule. The fruit is a legume to 20 cm in length with bright red elliptical seeds.  As the fruit matures and dries it becomes coiled.

Habitat: Adenanthera pavonina grows in Human Altered environments (roadsides, yards) as well as edges of Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations – Forests/Shrublands.

Distribution: Adenanthera pavonina is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago.  It is native to tropical areas of Asia but has become wide spread throughout tropical and subtropical areas of the world. In many places it is considered INVASVIE.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Adenanthera pavonina is not known to be used medicinally in The Bahamas.

Adenanthera pavonina is used in many areas as a fodder crop for animals, to help fix nitrogen and as an ornamental in gardens.

In Asia it is used medicinally and the new leaves can be cooked and eaten.  The seeds are used to make jewelry.