4. Breynia fruticosa (Linnaeus) Müller Argoviensis in A. Candolle, Prodr. 15(2): 237. 1866.
黑面神 hei mian shen
Andrachne fruticosa Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 1014. 1753; Melanthesa chinensis Blume; M. glaucescens Miquel; Melanthesopsis fruticosa (Linnaeus) Müller Argoviensis; M. lucens (Poiret) Müller Argoviensis; Phyllanthus lucens Poiret; P. turbinatus Sims.
Erect shrubs 1-3(-5) m tall, glabrous throughout; stem gray-brown; branches compressed at upper part, purple; branchlets green. Stipules triangular-lanceolate, ca. 2 mm; petiole 3-4 mm; leaf blade ovate, broadly ovate, or rhombic-ovate, 3-7 × 1.8-3.5 cm, leathery, abaxially pruinose-green, adaxially dark green, base obtuse or acute, apex (obtuse or) acute to subacuminate; lateral veins 3-8 pairs. Flowers small, solitary or 2-4-flowered in axillary clusters, male in proximal axils, female in distal axils, sometimes male and female apart, inserted in different branchlets. Male flowers: pedicels 2-3 mm; calyx turbinate, ca. 2 mm, thickened, 6-dentate at apex; stamens 3, connate into a column. Female flowers usually several per axil; pedicels ca. 2 mm; calyx campanulate, shallowly 6-fid at apex, ca. 4 mm in diam.; sepals subequal, subtruncate and apiculate at apex, much enlarged in fruit to ca. 8 mm in diam., upper part radial-spreading into disk; ovary ovoid; stigmas 3, to ca. 0.6 mm, distinctly bifid at apex, lobes recurved, elongating in fruit to 1-2 mm. Fruiting pedicel ca. 5 mm; capsules globose, 5-6 × 6-8 mm, apex rounded, without apical rim, yellowish to orange; stigmas free, undivided or apically slightly bifid. Seeds 4.6-5 × ca. 3 × 3 mm, red. Fl. year-round, fr. May-Dec.
Montane slopes, scrub, sunny forest margins; 100-1000 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Laos, Thailand, Vietnam].
The roots and leaves are used as medicine for inflammation of intestine and stomach, sore throat, eczema, etc. The branches, leaves, and stem contain up to 12% tannins.