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Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 981. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)
Contributor Text: A. RADCLIFFE-SMITH
General/Distribution: A large pantropical genus of some 700 species, with 10 species in Pakistan.


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Monoecious or dioecious herbs, shrubs or trees often with the stems diferentiated into 2 or 3 types (long shoots of unlimited growth and intermediate or short shoots of limited growth), with or without a usually simple indumentum. Leaves also often of 2 types (scale-like cataphylls on the long and short shoots and foliage-leaves usually only on the intermediate shoots). Foliage leaves alternate, often distichous, shortly petiolate, stipulate, simple, entire, penninerved. Cataphyll-stipules larger than those of the foliage leaves. Flowers small, axillary, solitary, geminate or fasciculate. Male flowers: pedicels often capillary; sepals 4-6, biseriate, imbricate, subequal; petals 0; disc-glands 4-6, free, rarely annular or 0; stamens 2-6, filaments free or connate, anthers basifixed, extrorse, oblong, didymous or reniform, the cells parallel or convergent, longitudinally, obliquely or transversely dehiscent; pistillode 0. Female flowers: pedicels more robust than the ♂; sepals ± as in the ♂; disc annular or cupular, entire or lobed, rarely of separate glands; ovary 3-∞-celled, with 2 ovules per cell: styles 3-∞, free or connate, bifid or bibbed, usually recurved. Fruits 3-∞-celled, dehiscent into bivalved cocci, baccate or drupaceous; endocarp usually crustaceous. Seeds trigonous, segmentiform, rarely ovoid, ecarunculate; testa crustaceous; albumen fleshy; cotyledons flat or flexuous.

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1 Trees or shrubs (2)
+ Herbs (5)
2 (1) Foliage-leaves 1 cm or more; fruits fleshy, drupaceous or baccate, indehiscent or tardily dehiscent (3)
+ Foliage-leaves not more than 1 cm long; fruits not fleshy, readily dehiscent 7 Phyllanthus parvifolius
3 (2) Fruit more than 1 cm diam., drupaceous, 1-3-lobate, greenish; yellowish or whitish (4)
+ Fruit less than 1 cm diam., baccate, 3.pluri-lobate, black 8 Phyllanthus reticulatus
4 (3) Leaves up to 40 per shoot, lax; leaf-blades ovate to ovate-lanceolate, up to 9 x 4.5 cm 9 Phyllanthus acidus
+ Leaves up to 150 per shoot, dense; leaf blades linear-oblong, 0.5-1.6 cm x 1-3 mm 10 Phyllanthus emblica
5 (1) Stems of only one type; cataphylls absent (6)
+ Stems of two or more types; cataphylls present (7)
6 (5) Leaves linear-lanceolate; anthers ± horizontal; fruiting pedicels up to 7 mm long; female sepals narrowly elliptic; fruit minutely granulate 6 Phyllanthus virgatus
+ Leaves oblanceolate to obovate; anthers vertical; fruiting pedicels not more than 2 mm long; female sepals suborbicular-obovate; fruit smooth, shiny 5 Phyllanthus maderaspatensis
7 (5) Cataphylls borne on a level with their stipules; fruits smooth (8)
+ Cataphylls borne above their stipules; fruits usually scaly 1 Phyllanthus urinaria
8 (7) Plant glabrous, subglabrous, scaberulous or scabrid; male & female flowers usually in separate axils, sometimes together; sepals of both sexes 6 (9)
+ Plant completely glabrous; male & female flowers occuring together in some axils; sepals of both sexes 5; female disc 5-lobed, the lobes triangular 3 Phyllanthus amarus
9 (8) Leaves elliptic-oblong to elliptic-oblanceolate, up to 5 mm wide, not asperulous, dark green; female disc irregularly deeply 6-10-lobed; seeds ochreous-fulvous 2 Phyllanthus fraternus
+ Leaves suborbicular-obovate, up to 1 cm wide, often asperulous beneath, grey-green or glaucous; female disc annular; seeds dark brown 4 Phyllanthus rotundifolius
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