Phyllanthus multiforus Willd.
A monoecious glabrous or puberulous much-branched shrub or small tree up to 4 m, rarely more. Bark rough, peeling or flaking, brown or grey. Inter-mediate shoots commonly not exceeding 10 cm, leafy, flowering or both; short shoots co-axillary with them. Cataphylls lanceolate, 1-1.5 mm, later hardening and ± spinescent, reddish-brown. Foliage leaves distichous; petioles 1-1.5 mm long; leaf-blades elliptic to elliptic-oblong, 1-2 cm x 4-8 mm, obtuse or rounded at the apex and base, chartaceous, lateral nerves 6-9 pairs, not raised above, slightly raised beneath, tertiary nerves reticulate, usually glabrous, dark geen above, paler beneath. Stipules of the cataphylls triangular-ovate, 1.5 mm long, acuminate, reddish-brown; those of the leaves lanceolate, c. 1 mm long, brownish. Fascicles usually bisexual, with 1-2 ♀ & several ♂ flt per node. Male flowers: pedicels capillary, 2-4 mm long; sepals 5(-6), elliptic to suborbicular-obovate, c. 1 x 1 mm, ± rounded, white with a yellowish-green midrib, sometimes pinkish-tinged; disc-glands 5(-6), free, ovoid, knobbly, fleshy; stamens 5(-6), the 2(-3), outer free, short, the 3 inner usually united at least at the base, longer, filaments stout, anthers triangular, longitudinally dehiscent. Female flowers: pedicels slender, c. 2 mm long; sepals ± as in the ♂ fls.; disc-glands 5, free, ± triangular, flattened; ovary sessile, subglobose, (3-) 4-multilocular, 1 mm diam, smooth; styles very short, free, thick, suberect or indexed, crowded, bifid. Fruit depressed-subglobose, tri to plurilobate, 2.5-4 x 4-6 mm, smooth, baccate, shiny, black, with a dark purplish pulpy pericarp. Seeds irregularly ovoid-trigonous, c. 2 mm long, faintly reticulate, brownish with a pale raphe.
Holotype: ‘Indies’, no coll./date, partim (P-LA).
Distribution: Throughout the Old World Tropics; in Pakistan in lowland habitats and near the coast, often in areas subject to flooding; near sea-level. In Pakistan represented by the var. reticulates. The var. glaber (Thw.) Muell. Arg., also widespread, is quite glabrous.