Dioclea reflexa  Hook. f.  Sea purse  - Fabaceae

The reddish-brown seeds of the sea purse, Dioclea reflexa, are nearly spherical and slightly flattened with one side rounded, the other straight.  They often have a ridge at the hilum, the scar on the seed coat where it was attached to the fruit.

These seeds are worn as pendants and used in necklaces in the Old and New World tropics.  From this woody climber seeds drifted from their Asian home to spread throughout the tropics.  After taking root in Central America seeds from later generations often reached northern Europe by way of the Gulf.

 

 

 

 

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