5. Phyllanthus maderaspatensis L., Sp. Pl. 982. 1753. Muell. Arg. In DC., Prodr. 15(2): 362, 1866; Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 5: 292. 1887; Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. & Kashm. 455. 1972.
A monoecious glabrous spreading or erect annual or perennial herb up to 75 cm, but more commonly 25-30 cm, with angular branches of only 1 type; cataphylls 0. Leaves: petioles c. 1 mm long; leaf-blades oblanceolate to obovate, 0.7-3 x 0.2-1 cm, subacute, obtuse or rounded at the apex, tapered to the base, thinly chartaceous, lateral nerves 4-8 pairs, comptodromous, slightly prominent beneath, dull grey-green. Stipules lanceolate, 1.5-2 nun long, acuminate, cordate-auriculate on one side, pinkish-brown. Proximal nodes ♀, distal with ♂ & ♀ fls. together. Male flowers: pedicels 1 mm long, sepals 6, obovate-suborbicular, 1 x 0.8 mm, obtuse, yellowish, often reddish-tinged; disc-glands 6, rounded, flat, smooth; stamens 3, filaments united into a short column, but free at the top, anthers vertical, longitudinally dehiscent, bright yellow. Female flowers: pedicels 1.5-2 mm long; sepals 6, biseriate, suborbicular-obovate, the 3 outer 2 x 1.5 mm, the 3 inner smaller, obtuse, apiculate, dark olive-green, edged with white, often reddish-tinged. disc-glands 6, free, square, thin, flat; ovary sessile, rounded-trilobate, c. 1 mm diam., smooth; styles 0.5 mm long, ± free, erect, bind. Fruit depressed-rounded trilobate, 3 mm diam, smooth, shiny, olivaceous. Seeds 1.3 x 1 x 1 mm, brown with 14 rows of shiny black tubercles on the back, and 11-12 concentric rings of tubercles on the sides.
Fl. & Fr. Per. May-January.
Neotype: India, Madras, Herb. Heyne in Wall., Num. List No. 7906 Fa (K. WALL).
Distribution: Africa, Arabia, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, China, Java, Australia; on sandy clay soil, on limestone, stony ground, in forests; arable fields, maize-fields, on waste-ground near villages and by roadsides from near sea-level to 4920'/1500 m.