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Pakistan | Family List | Euphorbiaceae | Phyllanthus

2. Phyllanthus fraternus webster, Contr. Gray Herb. 176: 53. 1955. & in J. Arn. Arb. 38(4): 309. 1957.


  • Phyllanthus niruri sensu Hook. f.
  • Phyllanthus niruri var. scabrellus Muell. Arg.

    A monoecious slender scaberulous to subglabrous erect annual herb up to 80 cm, although more commonly c. 30-40 cm, with angular branches. Cataphylls linear-lanceolate, 1 mm long, acute, entire, subtending the intermediate shoots. Foliage leaves: petioles 0.5 mm long; leaf-blades elliptic-oblong to elliptic-oblanceolate, 5-13 x 1.5-5 mm, obtuse or rounded at apex and base, or sometimes tapering to the base, membranous, lateral nerves 4-7 pairs, indistinct, dark green above, paler and greyish beneath. Stipules of the cataphylls lanceolate, 1-1.3 mm long, scarious; those of the leaves narrowly lanceolate, 0.7-1 mm long, scarious with a pinkish or olive midrib. Proximal nodes ♂, distal ♀. Male flowers: pedicels 1 mm long; sepals 6, suborbicular-obovate, 0.5 x 0.5 mm, rounded, hyaline, midrib yellowish; disc-glands 6, lobulate, verruculose; stamens 3, filaments united into a short column, anthers subsessile, ± horizontal, transversely dehiscent. Female flowers: pedicels 1.5-2 mm long; sepals 6, oblong-oblanceolate, somewhat unequal, 1-1.5 x 0.5 mm, rounded, white, midrib green; disc thin, flat, irregularly deeply-lobed into 6-10 segments, some broad and crenate, others triangular and bifid, yet others linear and entire; ovary sessile, subglobose, c. 1 mm diam., smooth; styles minute, free, adpressed or ascending, bilobate, the lobes recurved. Fruits trilobate-subglobose, 1.7-2 mm diam., smooth, olivaceous or stramineous. Seeds 1 x 0.7 x 0.6 mm, longitudinally 7-8-ridged on the back, concentrically 7-8-ridged on the sides, ochreous-fulvous.

    Fl. Per.: August-September. Fr. Per.: August-October.

    Holotype: Pakistan, Punjab, ? Sialkot, Ravi-Chenab Doab, ‘Jummooghat’, Oct. 1846, Thomson s.n. (K); Isotype (GH).

    Distribution: Pakistan, Kashmir, N.W. India; introduced into Arabia, Africa and the West Indies; on sandy clay soil in moist habitats, e.g. parks, gardens, canesugar fields. Near sea-level to 4500'/1370 m.

    The records for Phyllanthus debilis Klein ex Willd., a native of S. India and Sri Lanka (see Stewart, op. cit.: 455. 1972), almost certainly refer to this species. I have seen no specimens from Pakistan.


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