Phyllanthus L.
  • Sp. Pl. 2: 981. 1753. (1 May 1753)
  • Leafflower [Greek phyllon, leaf, and anthos, flower, alluding to apparent production of flowers on leaves (actually plagiotropic branchlets) of some species]


Cite taxon page as 'WFO (2020): Phyllanthus L. Published on the Internet;http://www.worldfloraonline.org/taxon/wfo-4000029389. Accessed on: 26 May 2020'

General Information

Herbs, shrubs, or trees, annual or perennial, terrestrial (P. fluitans floating aquatic), usually monoecious, sometimes dioecious, glabrous or hairy, hairs simple [branched]; branching phyllanthoid or not. Stems erect to prostrate. Leaves persistent or deciduous, alternate, simple, all well developed, scalelike on main stems and well developed on ultimate branchlets, or rarely all scalelike; stipules persistent; blade margins entire. Inflorescences unisexual or bisexual, cymules or flowers solitary. Pedicels present, pistillate sometimes elongating in fruit. Staminate flowers: sepals 4–6, connate basally; petals 0; nectary extrastaminal, 4–6 glands (intrastaminal, annular, 4-lobed in P. warnockii); stamens 2–5[–15]; filaments distinct or partially to completely connate; connectives not extending beyond anthers; pistillode absent. Pistillate flowers: sepals persistent, (4–)5–6, connate basally; petals 0; nectary annular to cupular, entire or lobed, or distinct glands [absent]; pistil 3(–4)-carpellate; styles 3(–4), distinct or connate to 1/2 length, 2-fid [rarely unbranched]. Fruits capsules or drupes. Seeds 2 per locule, rounded-trigonous; seed coat dry, verrucose, papillate, ribbed, or smooth; caruncle absent. x = 8, 9, 13.

  • Provided by: [D].Flora of North America @ efloras.org
    • Source: [
    • 13
    • ]. 

    Trees, shrubs, or herbs, mostly monoecious, less often dioecious; branching often "phyllanthoid": main stems with spiral phyllotaxy, ultimate branchlets sometimes clustered on short shoots, resembling pinnate leaves and often deciduous as a unit, less often stems all similar with spiral or distichous phyllotaxy; hairs simple, often absent, rarely branched. Leaves alternate, often reduced and scalelike on main stems, strongly distichous on leafy stems; stipules small, deciduous or persistent; petiole short; leaf blade simple, margin entire, venation pinnate. Inflorescences axillary, sometimes at leafless nodes, solitary or in fascicles, cymes, glomerules, racemes, or panicles; pedicels delicate. Male flowers: sepals (2 or)3-6, in 1 or 2 series, free, imbricate, margin entire, eroded, denticulate or fimbriate; petals absent; disk glands 3-6, usually free; stamens 2-6; filaments free or connate; anthers 2-locular, extrorse, thecae 2, connectives obscure, longitudinally or horizontally dehiscent, rarely obliquely so; pistillode absent. Female flowers: sepals as in male or more; disk glands usually small, free or connate into an annulus or urn-shape, surrounding ovary; ovary smooth or less commonly roughened, bullate, or hairy, 3(-12)-locular; ovules 2 per locule; styles 3(-12), apex 2-lobed or 2-branched, rarely entire, erect, spreading, or recurved. Fruit usually a capsule, globose or depressed globose, smooth or warty, dehiscent into 3 2-valved cocci when mature, less often a fleshy berry or drupe; columella persistent. Seeds without caruncle or aril, trigonous, surface smooth, sculptured or striate; seed-coat dry crustaceous, endosperm whitish, cartilaginous; embryo straight or slightly curved; cotyledons usually considerably broader than radical. x = 13.

  • Provided by: [G].Flora Of CHina @ efloras.org
    • Source: [
    • 14
    • ]. 

    PHYLLANTHUS L.

    Por Grady L. Webster

    Arboles, arbustos o hierbas, sin látex; plantas monoicas o raramente dioicas (solo P. elsiae en Nicaragua). Hojas alternas, simples, enteras, pinnatinervias, estipuladas. Flores en fascículos axilares o a veces caulifloras, apétalas; flores estaminadas con 4–6 sépalos, imbricados, disco generalmente segmentado o a veces ausente, estambres mayormente 2–6, libres o connados, pistilodio ausente; flores pistiladas mayormente pediceladas, sépalos 4–6, imbricados, disco entero, segmentado o a veces ausente, ovario 3 (4)-locular, 2 óvulos por lóculo, estilo libre o connado, generalmente bífido. Fruto generalmente capsular o a veces drupáceo; semillas ecarunculadas.

    Género muy diverso y principalmente tropical con 700 especies, de las cuales unas 200 son neotropicales; 13 especies se conocen en Nicaragua.

  • Provided by: [E].Flora de Nicaragua
    • Source: [
    • 15
    • ]. 

    Trees, shrubs or herbs of very diverse habit; monoecious or subdioecious, much less commonly dioecious; branching unspecialized (twigs then persistent, with spiral or distichous phyllotaxy) or (in many species) axes of two kinds: persistent, with spiral phyllotaxy and without flowers, and deciduous, with distichous phyllotaxy and often floriferous. Leaves usually alternate, entire, varying in size and texture; short-petiolate; stipules deciduous or persistent. Inflorescences usually axillary; flowers solitary or in reduced cymes, in some species cauliflorous or in pseudoterminal thyrses; gamosepalous, 4-6 lobed; apetalous; disc usually present. Staminate flowers with mostly 3-6(2-15) stamens, the filaments free or connate; disc usually cut into segments; pollen grains sometimes spheroidal and 3-colporate but often with other patterns, small, intectate; pistillode absent. Pistillate flowers pedicellate or subsessile; calyx-lobes usually 5 or 6, usually entire; disc entire or cut into segments, rarely absent; carpels usually 3, the ovules 2 per locule, hemi- tropous, the styles free or united, bifid or variously divided or dilated. Fruits usually capsular, ? explosively dehiscent, less commonly baccate or drupaceous, the crustaceous cocci separating from a persistent columella; seeds usually 2 per locule (rarely only 1 developing), the seed-coat dry and crustaceous, smooth or sculptured, the endosperm cartilaginous, the embryo straight or slightly curved.

  • Provided by: [C].Flora de Panama
  • Hierbas, arbustos o árboles, monoicos o (raramente) dioicos, con indumento de tricomas simples o dendríticos, las ramitas laterales usualmente deciduas, la savia incolora o no evidente; estípulas pequeñas. Hojas alternas, usualmente espiraladas y escamiformes (o al menos reducidas) en los ejes principales, de otra forma dísticas y foliares, el pecíolo (de hojas foliares) sin glándulas; lámina (de hojas foliares) simple, no lobulada, usualmente entera. Infls. axilares (y a veces caulifloras) o terminales, bisexuales o unisexuales, de 1 fl. solitaria o varias fls. fasciculadas. Fls. estaminadas con disco extraestaminal, usualmente lobulado; sépalos 4–6, en 2 verticilos, imbricados; pétalos ausentes; estambres (2)3–15, los filamentos separados o connatos basalmente, que a veces forman una columna; pistiloide ausente. Fls. pistiladas con disco cupuliforme o dividido; sépalos 5 ó 6, en 2 verticilos, imbricados; pétalos ausentes; ovario trilocular; óvulos 2 por lóculo; estilos 3(4), separados o connatos, bífidos o varias veces divididos. Frs. capsulares o (menos frecuente) abayados o drupáceos; semillas lisas o esculpidas, sin carúncula.

  • Provided by: [H].Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica
  • "Monoecious; fls minute, in small axillary cymules; cal 4–6-lobed; pet none; staminate fls with mostly 3–5 stamens, an evident extrastaminal disk, and reduced or no pistil; ovary globose, the 3 short styles ± bifid; seeds 2 per locule, without a caruncle; herbs or shrubs with numerous simple, alternate, entire, stipulate lvs. 750, mainly tropical."

  • Provided by: [F].New York Botanical Garden
    • Source: [
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    Morphology

    Foliage leaves alternate, often distichous, shortly petiolate, stipulate, simple, usually entire, penninerved, the nerves commonly brochidodromous

  • Provided by: [J].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 11
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    Stipules of the cataphylls larger and more robust than those of the foliage leaves

  • Provided by: [J].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 11
    • ]. 

    Flowers small, axillary, the males usually geminate or fasciculate in the axils of the lower half of the plagiotropic shoots, the females usually solitary in the upper axils

  • Provided by: [J].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 11
    • ]. 

    Male flowers: pedicels often capillary; sepals (4–)5–6, subequal, imbricate; petals 0; disc-glands (4–)5–6, free, alternating with the sepals, or rarely disc annular; stamens 2–6, filaments free or some or all united, either partially or completely, anthers basifixed, extrorse, variously held, the thecae parallel or convergent, longitudinally, obliquely, laterally or apically dehiscent; pistillode 0

  • Provided by: [J].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 11
    • ]. 

    Female flowers: pedicels more robust than in the ♂ flowers; sepals as in the ♂ flowers, but often larger; petals 0; disc hypogynous, thin or thick, flat or cupular, annular and entire or variously lobed or toothed, or rarely composed of separate glands; staminodes rarely present; ovary sessile or stipitate, usually 3 (–many)-locular, with 2 ovules per locule; styles 3, rarely more, free or connate at the base, variously held, bifid or bilobate, the stigmas slender or swollen, usually recurved

  • Provided by: [J].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 11
    • ]. 

    Fruits 3– or rarely more celled, dry and septicidally and loculicidally dehiscent or else fleshy and subindehiscent; endocarp usually crustaceous

  • Provided by: [J].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 11
    • ]. 

    Monoecious or dioecious herbs, shrubs or trees of various habit, often with the stems and branches differentiated into 2 or 3 types: orthotropic long shoots of unlimited growth, short shoots of limited growth (brachyblasts) and plagiotropic leafy and/or floriferous short shoots of limited growth resembling pinnate leaves, with or without a simple indumentum, rarely with a dentritic indumentum

  • Provided by: [J].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 11
    • ]. 

    Leaves often of 2 types: scale-like cataphylls on the orthotropic shoots and short shoots (brachyblasts) and foliage leaves on the plagiotropic shoots and also occasionally on the orthotropic shoots

  • Provided by: [J].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 11
    • ]. 

    Seeds 2 per locule, usually segmentiform, triquetrous, rarely compressed-ovoid or ovoid, dorsally convex, verruculose, tuberculate, lineate, ridged or smooth, ecarunculate; testa usually thinly crustaceous; albumen fleshy; embryo straight or slightly incurved; cotyledons flat, straight or rarely flexuous

  • Provided by: [J].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 11
    • ]. 

    Fig. 2.

  • Provided by: [J].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 11
    • ]. 

    Indumentum simple, rarely dendritic (Asia).

  • Provided by: [K].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 12
    • ]. 

    Leaves often scale-like (cataphylls) on the lead shoots and short shoots, normal (trophophylls) on the lateral leafy shoots and occasionally also on the lead shoots.

  • Provided by: [K].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 12
    • ]. 

    Monoecious or dioecious herbs, shrubs or trees of various habit, often with the shoots differentiated into 2 or 3 types: long lead shoots of unlimited growth (orthotropic shoots), short lateral shoots of potentially unlimited growth (brachyblasts) and leafy or floriferous lateral shoots of limited growth (plagiotropic shoots) which may resemble pinnate leaves or pseudoracemose inflorescences (see Tab. 8).

  • Provided by: [K].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 12
    • ]. 

    Foliage leaves alternate, often distichous, shortly petiolate, stipulate, simple, entire, penninerved, the nerves usually looped.

  • Provided by: [K].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 12
    • ]. 

    Stipules of the scale leaves larger than those of the foliage leaves.

  • Provided by: [K].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 12
    • ]. 

    Flowers small, axillary; male flowers geminate or fasciculate, usually in the lower axils of the lateral shoots; female flowers solitary in the upper axils, or male and female flowers on leafless lateral shoots, often pendent.

  • Provided by: [K].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 12
    • ]. 

    Male flowers: pedicels often capillary; sepals (4)5–6, subequal, imbricate; petals absent; disk glands (4)5–6, free, alternisepalous, or rarely disk annular (P.pinnatus); stamens 2–6, filaments free or some or all partially or completely united, anthers basifixed, extrorse, variously held and dehiscent, thecae parallel or convergent; pistillode absent.

  • Provided by: [K].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 12
    • ]. 

    Female flowers: pedicels more robust than in male flowers; sepals larger than but otherwise as in male; petals absent; disk hypogynous, annular, entire or lobed, rarely the glands distinct (e.g. P. maderaspatensis); staminodes rarely present; ovary sessile or stipitate, 3(8)-locular, ovules 2 per locule; styles 3(8), free or united at the base, variously held, bifid or 2-lobed, rarely simple (P. ovalifolius), the stigmas usually recurved.

  • Provided by: [K].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 12
    • ]. 

    Fruits 3(8)-celled, dry and septicidally and loculicidally dehiscent or fleshy and subindehiscent; endocarp usually crustaceous.

  • Provided by: [K].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 12
    • ]. 

    Seeds 2 per locule, usually segmentiform, triquetrous and dorsally convex, rarely ovoid (e.g. P. inflatus), tuberculate, ridged, lineate or smooth, ecarunculate; testa usually thinly crustaceous; albumen fleshy; embryo straight or slightly curved; cotyledons flat, straight or rarely flexuous.

  • Provided by: [K].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 12
    • ]. 

    Habit

    Trees, shrubs or herbs

  • Provided by: [C].Flora de Panama
  • Distribution

    A diversified genus of perhaps 700 species, the majority of these belonging to the Old World.

  • Provided by: [C].Flora de Panama
  • Literature

    SELECTED REFERENCES Webster, G. L. 1970. A revision of Phyllanthus (Euphorbiaceae) in the continental United States. Brittonia 22: 44–76. Webster, G. L. and K. I. Miller. 1963. The genus Reverchonia (Euphorbiaceae). Rhodora 65: 193–207.

  • Provided by: [D].Flora of North America @ efloras.org
    • Source: [
    • 13
    • ]. 

    Included Species

    Other Local Names

    NameLanguageCountry
    Leafflower [Greek phyllon, leaf, and anthos, flower, alluding to apparent production of flowers on leaves (actually plagiotropic branchlets) of some species]
    grosella Otaheite gooseberry

      Bibliography

     Information From

    MBG Floras Images
    http://www.tropicos.org/ImageSearch.aspx
    Flora images. Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed on Jun. 2018.
    • A Missouri Botanical Garden
    • B Missouri Botanical Garden
    Flora de Panama
    http://www.tropicos.org/Project/PAC
    Robert E. Woodson, Jr. and Robert W. Schery Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden Vol. 67, No. 4 (1980), pp. ii-xxxiii
    • C Missouri Botanical Garden
    Flora of North America @ efloras.org
    http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=1
    'Flora of North America @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=1 [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • D Flora of North America Association
    Flora de Nicaragua
    http://www.tropicos.org/projectwebportal.aspx?projectid=7&pagename=Home&langid=66
    WD Stevens, CU Ulloa, A Pool and OM Montiel. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, 2001
    • E Missouri Botanical Garden
    New York Botanical Garden
    Descriptions of plants should be attributed to the full citation for each individual article, chapter or book that is the source for each record, which should include the authors of original publication.
    • F Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
    Flora Of CHina @ efloras.org
    http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2
    'Flora of China @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2 [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • G Missouri Botanical Garden
    Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica
    http://www.tropicos.org/Project/Costa%20Rica
    Hammel, B. E.; Grayum, M. H.; Herrera, C.; Zamora, N. Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, 2003-2014
    • H Missouri Botanical Garden
    Phyllanthaceae
    • I CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
    Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    https://www.kew.org/science/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/strategic-outputs-2020/plants-of-the-world-online
    http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/terms-and-conditions
    • J
    Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    https://www.kew.org/science/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/strategic-outputs-2020/plants-of-the-world-online
    http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/terms-and-conditions
    • K
    World Flora Online consortium
    http://www.worldfloraonline.org/organisation/WFO
    World Flora Online Data. 2018.
    • L CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).