For the chioneine crane fly genus, see Ormosia (insect).
Seeds of Ormosia minor
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Ormosieae[1]
Genus: Ormosia
Jacks. nom. cons.

129–154; see text

  • Anatropostylia (Plitmann) Kupicha
  • Fedorouia (lapsus)
  • Fedorovia Yakovlev
  • Layia Hook. & Arn. (non Hook. & Arn. ex DC.: nom. rej.)
  • Macrotropis DC.
  • Macroule Pierce
  • Ormosiopsis Ducke
  • Placolobium Miq.
  • Podopetalum F.Muell.
  • Ruddia Yakovlev
  • Toulichiba Adans. nom. rej.
  • Trichocyamos Yakovlev

Ormosia is a genus of legumes (family Fabaceae). The more than 100 living species, mostly trees or large shrubs, are distributed throughout the tropical regions of the world, some extending into temperate zones, especially in East Asia. A few species are threatened by habitat destruction, while the Hainan Ormosia (Ormosia howii) is probably extinct already.

Plants in this genus are commonly known as horse-eye beans or simply ormosias, and in Spanish by the somewhat ambiguous term "chocho". The scientific name Ormosia is a nomen conservandum, overruling Toulichiba which is formally rejected under the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants.[2]

The seeds of these plants are poisonous if eaten, but often look pretty, with bright colors and decorative patterns reminiscent of an eye; the common name "horse-eye beans" refers to these seeds. They resemble the seeds of Abrus, snoutbeans (Rhynchosia), and Adenanthera, but are much larger than the former two. In particular those of Ormosia coccinea are often used for jewelry and other decorative purposes, or as good luck charms. The seeds float and are occasionally found as "sea beans".

Otherwise, Ormosia wood is used as timber or firewood. Some species, for example Ormosia nobilis, are also used in folk medicine.[3]


Ormosia comprises the following species:[4][5][6]

  • Ormosia altimontana Meireles & H.C. Lima[7]
  • Ormosia amazonica Ducke
  • Ormosia antioquensis Rudd
  • Ormosia apiculata L. Chen
  • Ormosia arborea (Vell.) Harms
  • Ormosia assamica Yakovlev
  • Ormosia avilensis Pittier
  • Ormosia bahiensis Monach.
  • Ormosia balansae Drake
  • Ormosia bancana (Miq.) Merr.
  • Ormosia bolivarensis (Rudd) C.H. Stirt.
  • Ormosia boluoensis Y.Q. Wang & P.Y. Chen
  • Ormosia bopiensis J.F. Macbr.
  • Ormosia calavensis Blanco
  • Ormosia cambodiana Gagnep.
  • Ormosia chevalieri Niyomdham
  • Ormosia cinerea Benoist
  • Ormosia coarctata Jacks.
  • Ormosia coccinea (Aubl.) Jacks.
    • var. coccinea (Aubl.) Jacks.
    • var. subsimplex (Benth.) Rudd
  • Ormosia colombiana Rudd
  • Ormosia costulata (Miq.) Kleinhoonte
  • Ormosia coutinhoi Ducke—Red Horse-eye Bean
  • Ormosia crassivalvis Gagnep.
  • Ormosia cruenta Rudd
  • Ormosia cuatrecasasii Rudd
  • Ormosia discolor Benth.
  • Ormosia elata Rudd
  • Ormosia elliptica Q.W. Yao & R.H. Chang
  • Ormosia emarginata (Hook. & Arn.) Benth.
  • Ormosia eugeniifolia R.H. Chang
  • Ormosia excelsa Benth.
  • Ormosia fastigiata Tul.
  • Ormosia ferruginea R.H. Chang
  • Ormosia flava (Ducke) Rudd
  • Ormosia fordiana Oliv.
  • Ormosia formosana Kaneh.
  • Ormosia friburgensis Glaz.
  • Ormosia froesii Rudd
  • Ormosia glaberrima Y.C. Wu
  • Ormosia glauca Wall.
  • Ormosia gracilis Prain
  • Ormosia grandiflora (Tul.) Rudd
  • Ormosia grandistipulata Whitmore
  • Ormosia grossa Rudd
  • Ormosia hekouensis R.H. Chang
  • Ormosia hengchuniana T.C. Huang, S.F. Huang & K.C. Yang
  • Ormosia henryi Prain
  • Ormosia hoaensis Gagnep.
  • Ormosia holerythra Ducke
  • Ormosia hosiei Hemsl. & E.H. Wilson
  • Ormosia howii L. ChenHainan Ormosia (probably extinct)
  • Ormosia indurata L. Chen
  • Ormosia inflata Merr. & L. Chen
  • Ormosia intermedia N. Zamora
  • Ormosia isthmensis Standl.
  • Ormosia jamaicensis Urb.
  • Ormosia kerrii Niyomdham
  • Ormosia krugii Urb.
  • Ormosia laosensis Niyomdham
  • Ormosia larecajana Rudd
  • Ormosia lewisii D.B.O.S.Cardoso et al.[8]
  • Ormosia lignivalvis Rudd
  • Ormosia limae D.B.O.S.Cardoso & L.P.Queiroz[9]
  • Ormosia longipes L. Chen
  • Ormosia macrocalyx Ducke
  • Ormosia macrodisca Baker
  • Ormosia macrophylla Benth.
  • Ormosia maguireorum Rudd
  • Ormosia mataridek Aymard & Sanoja[10]
  • Ormosia melanocarpa Kleinhoonte
  • Ormosia microphylla Merr. & L. Chen
  • Ormosia minor Vogel
  • Ormosia monosperma (Sw.) Urb.
  • Ormosia nanningensis L. Chen
  • Ormosia napoensis Z. Wei & R.H. Chang
  • Ormosia nitida Vogel
  • Ormosia nobilis Tul.
    • var. nobilis Tul.
    • var. santaremnensis (Ducke) Rudd
  • Ormosia nuda (F.C. How) R.H. Chang & Q.W. Yao
  • Ormosia oaxacana Rudd
  • Ormosia olivacea L. Chen
  • Ormosia ormondii (F. Muell.) Merr.
  • Ormosia pachycarpa Benth.—Hairy-fruited Ormosia
  • Ormosia pachyptera L. Chen
  • Ormosia panamensis Benth.coronil, sur espino
  • Ormosia paniculata Merr.
  • Ormosia paraensis Ducke
  • Ormosia penangensis Ridl.
  • Ormosia peruviana Rudd
  • Ormosia pingbianensis W.C. Cheng & R.H. Chang
  • Ormosia pinnata (Lour.) Merr.
  • Ormosia poilanei Niyomdham
  • Ormosia polita Prain
  • Ormosia pubescens R.H. Chang
  • Ormosia purpureiflora L. Chen
  • Ormosia revoluta Rudd
  • Ormosia robusta Baker
  • Ormosia ruddiana Yakovlev
  • Ormosia saxatilis K.M. Lan
  • Ormosia scandens Prain
  • Ormosia schippii Standl. & Steyerm.
  • Ormosia schunkei Rudd
  • Ormosia semicastrata Hance
    • f. litchifolia F. C. How
    • f. pallida F. C. How
    • f. semicastrata Hance
  • Ormosia sericeolucida L. Chen
  • Ormosia simplicifolia Merr. & L. Chen
  • Ormosia smithii Rudd
  • Ormosia solimoesensis Rudd
  • Ormosia steyermarkii Rudd
  • Ormosia stipulacea Meeuwen
  • Ormosia stipularis Ducke
  • Ormosia striata Dunn
  • Ormosia sumatrana (Miq.) Prain
  • Ormosia surigaensis Merr.
  • Ormosia tavoyana Prain
  • Ormosia timboënsis D. Cardoso, Meireles & H.C. Lima[11]
  • Ormosia tonkinensis Gagnep.
  • Ormosia tovarensis Pittier
  • Ormosia travancorica Bedd.
  • Ormosia trifoliolata Huber[8]
  • Ormosia tsangii L. Chen
  • Ormosia velutina Rudd
  • Ormosia venezolana Rudd
  • Ormosia venosa Baker
  • Ormosia vicosana Rudd
  • Ormosia williamsii Rudd
  • Ormosia xylocarpa Merr. & L. Chen
  • Ormosia zahnii Harms

Species names with uncertain taxonomic status

The status of the following species is unresolved:[6]

  • Ormosia apiculata H.Y. Chen
  • Ormosia carinata N.Zamora
  • Ormosia clementis Merr.
  • Ormosia dubia Prain
  • Ormosia esquirolii H.Lév.
  • Ormosia floribunda Wall.
  • Ormosia friburgensis Taub. ex Harms
  • Ormosia galericulata C.H. Stirt.
  • Ormosia howii Merr. & Chun
  • Ormosia indurata H.Y. Chen
  • Ormosia inflata Merr. & Chun
  • Ormosia longipes H.Y. Chen
  • Ormosia microphylla Merr.
  • Ormosia monophylla (Harms) Stapf
  • Ormosia nanningensis H.Y. Chen
  • Ormosia olivacea H.Y. Chen
  • Ormosia pachyptera H.Y. Chen
  • Ormosia panamensis Benth. ex Seem.
  • Ormosia pingbianensis M. Cheng & R.H. Chang
  • Ormosia purpureiflora H.Y. Chen
  • Ormosia ridleyi King
  • Ormosia sericeolucida H.Y. Chen
  • Ormosia simplicifolia Merr. & Chun
  • Ormosia vagraja C.H. Stirt.
  • Ormosia xylocarpa Chun ex Merr. & H.Y. Chen
  • Placolobium ellipticum N.D. Khoi & Yakovlev[12]
  • Placolobium vietnamense N.D. Khoi & Yakovlev[12]
  • Placolobium watsonii (C. Fischer) Yakovlev[12]


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ormosia (Fabaceae).
  1. Cardoso D, Pennington RT, de Queiroz LP, Boatwright JS, Van Wyk BE, Wojciechowski MF, Lavin M (2013). "Reconstructing the deep-branching relationships of the papilionoid legumes". S Afr J Bot. 89: 58–75. doi:10.1016/j.sajb.2013.05.001.
  2. 1 2 USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program (5 Oct 2007). "GRIN record for genus Ormosia". Germplasm Resources Information Network—(GRIN) [Online Database]. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Retrieved 24 Dec 2008.
  3. Marín-Corba C, Cárdenas-López D, Suárez-Suárez S (2005). "Utilidad del valor de uso en etnobotánica. Estudio en el departamento de Putumayo (Colombia)" [Use Value usefulness in ethnobotany. Case study in Putumayo department (Colombia)] (PDF). Caldasia. 27 (1): 89–101.
  4. "ILDIS LegumeWeb entry for Ormosia". International Legume Database & Information Service. Cardiff School of Computer Science & Informatics. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  5. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. "GRIN species records of Ormosia". Germplasm Resources Information Network—(GRIN) [Online Database]. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  6. 1 2 "The Plant List entry for Ormosia". The Plant List. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Missouri Botanical Garden. 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  7. Meireles JE, de Lima HC (2013). "A new species of Ormosia (Leguminosae, Papilionoideae, Sophoreae) from the Brazilian Atlantic Rain Forest". Phytotaxa. 143 (1): 54–60. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.143.1.3.
  8. 1 2 Cardoso DBOS; Stirton CH; Torke BM. (2014). "Taxonomy of South American Ormosia (Leguminosae, Papilionoideae): Recircumscription of O. costulata, reinstatement of O. trifoliolata, and the new species O. lewisii from the Brazilian Atlantic forest". Syst Bot. 39 (4): 1132–1141. doi:10.1600/036364414X683903.
  9. Cardoso DBOS; de Queiroz LP. (2010). "Ormosia limae (Leguminosae, Papilionoideae): A New Species from the Atlantic Forest of Southern Bahia, Brazil". Syst Bot. 35 (2): 272–276. doi:10.1600/036364410791638441.
  10. Aymard GA, Sanoja E (2012). "A New Species of Ormosia (Leguminosae: Papilionoideae, Sophoreae) from the Guayana Shield, Bolivar State, Venezuela". Harvard Pap Bot. 17 (2): 275–279. doi:10.3100/025.017.0206.
  11. Cardoso DBOS; Meireles JE; de Lima HC. (2009). "A remarkable new species of Ormosia (Leguminosae: Papilionoideae: Sophoreae) from Bahian Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil". Brittonia. 61 (1): 22–27. doi:10.1007/s12228-008-9051-y.
  12. 1 2 3 These three are accepted species, but have yet to be formally transferred to Ormosia.
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