Phyllanthus tenellus Roxb., Fl. Ind. ed. 1832 3: 668 1832. (Syn. Diasperus tenellus (Roxb.) Kuntze;                                     Diasperus corcovadensis (Müll.Arg.) Kuntze; Phyllanthus brisbanicus F.M.Bailey; Phyllanthus corcovadensis Müll.Arg.; Phyllanthus minor Fawc. & Rendle; Phyllanthus tenellus var. roxburghii Müll.Arg.);
Tanzania to Mozambique, SW. Arabian Peninsula, W. Indian Ocean: Angola, Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Réunion, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Yemen; Introduced into: Alabama, Argentina Northeast, Azores, Bahamas, Brazil North, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Canary Is., Cape Verde, Caroline Is., Cayman Is., Cook Is., Costa Rica, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, India, Iran, Jamaica, Japan, Leeward Is., Louisiana, Madeira, Marquesas, Mexico Central, Mexico Southwest, Mississippi, Nansei-shoto, New Caledonia, New Guinea, New South Wales, Norfolk Is., North Carolina, Northern Territory, Puerto Rico, Queensland, Seychelles, Sicilia, Society Is., South Carolina, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tennessee, Texas, Tuamotu, Tubuai Is., Vanuatu, Venezuela, Virginia, Western Australia, Windward Is. as per POWO;
Long Stalked Leaf-Flower, Long-stalk phyllanthus, Hens and Chickens, Mascarene Island leaf-flower;
fil-LAN-thus — meaning, flower leaf; it appears to flower from a leaf like stem
ten-ELL-us — meaning: small, delicate, tender
Native to: e tropical Africa, w Indian Ocean, s Arabian peninsula; naturalized elsewhere

Erect annual herbs 20-75 cm tall; stem simple or with permanent branchlets, subterete below, channelled above, glabrous, 3-12 cm long, with 10-25 leaves Leaves alternate, 0.5-2.1 x 0.3-1.1 cm, broadly elliptic to obovate, subacute at tip, acute to rounded at base; petioles 0.5-0.8 mm long; stipules lanceolate-acuminate, 0.8-1.2 x 0.2-0.3 mm. Flowers minute in axillary bisexual or unisexual cymules of 1-5 flowers on deciduous branchlets. Male flowers 1.5 mm across, white, 1-3 in unisexual cymules of 1 or 2 proximal nodes and in bisexual cymules of succeeding 3-10 nodes with female flowers; pedicels filiform, 0.5-1.5 mm long; sepals 5, imbricate, broadly obovate, acute to rounded at apex, 0.5-0.7 x 0.5-0.8 mm, membraneous, whitish with a narrow greenish midrib; disk segments 5, broadly cuneate, thin, entire, 0.2 mm across; stamens 5, free, alternate with the disk segments; filaments filiform, 0.2-0.4 mm long, bent near the tip; anthers oval, dehiscing vertically. Female flowers 1.4-1.6 mm across, 1 or 2 in the bisexual cymules of proximal 3-10 nodes and solitary in the succeeding distal nodes; pedicels capillary, 2.5-6 mm long, terete basal olive green; sepals 5, triangular-ovate, 0.6-0.8 x 0.3-0.5 mm, whitish with a thick greenish midrib, somewhat cuculate and acute at the apex; disk annular to somewhat 5-gonoal, membraneous; ovary smooth; style 3, appressed to ovary, cleft to 2/3; lobes diverging, the tips subcapitate. Capsule depressed-globose, 1.3-1.5 mm across, greenish, smooth; stalk 4-6 mm long; seeds trigonous, 0.75-0.8 x 0.6-0.65 mm, densely papillose. 

Flowering and fruiting: June-December
Waste places and plantations
Native of Mascarene Islands; now established in many tropical countries


ID(ID-DKB139) :  Attachments (1).  6 posts by 3 authors.
Plant from smriti van Jaipur for ID(ID-DKB139)
Photo Taken on-27.11.2008

Seems to be Phyllanthus nururi belonging to Euphorbiaceae. A relative of Amla- P. emblica.

Thanks, It is different.

… ¿ Phyllanthus tenellus ? some photos at
…, not sure, please let more validations come through.

Thanks Dineshji, for correct identification. It is long stalked Phylanthus (P. tenellus) and differs from P. nururi, which has no floral stalk.


[efloraofindia:34885] NATURALIZED :: Phyllanthaceae (leaf flower family) » Phyllanthus tenellus  : Attachments (5). 5 posts by 3 authors. Phyllanthaceae (leaf flower family) » Phyllanthus tenellus (syn. Phyllanthus corcovadensis)
fil-LAN-thus — flower leaf; it appears to flower from a leaf like stem
ten-ELL-us — small, delicate, tender
commonly known as: long-stalked phyllanthus, Mascarene Island leaf-flower
Native to: n-e, e, s tropical Africa, islands in w Indian Ocean, s Arabian peninsula; naturalized elsewhere
Flowers of India
• PPWS …
• Flora of Western Australia …
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Views attached are from:
… Veermata Jijabai Bhonsale Udyan (Nursery)
For more views: Flickr

Thanks for nice photographs of new for me plant. And yes phyll. for leaf is fine but not fil., which would mean filius, son.

… fil-LAN-thus is key to pronunciation.

Yes you are right!!!. When explaining etymology the appropriate way is
phyll—leaf, anthus—flower
Any how thanks for information.


Which Phyllanthus? : Attachments (2).  5 posts by 3 authors.

This small herb about a height of 1 feet was located near Hotel Prakruti on way to Kas in Sep2010.
I think this is Phyllanthus tenellus Please validate.
Flower size 2-3mm.

… most probably Phyllanthus tenellus … the long-stalked phyllanthus, Mascarene Island leaf-flower
native to eastern tropical Africa, western Indian Ocean, southern Arabian peninsula; naturalized elsewhere.
Please wait for comment(s).

Because of your wonderful illustrations and pictures of a series of Phyllanthus species, I got stimulated to see these tiny herbs which I used to neglect.

… am more stimulated with one older post of … stating … there are about 50 species of Phyllanthus in India.

Yes, to P. tenellus.


[efloraofindia:35039] Phyllanthus series : Attachments (4). 6 posts by 3 authors.

it was an excellent series of Phyllanthus. I had heard one sps of Phyllanthus niruri, Does it exist?
what is the difference between Phyllanthus fraternus and P. tenellus? Is the second one taller as seen in first picture? or are they the branches of some other plant?
Because other than i could not get the difference in these two. And then which is the one i am attaching the photographs with? this comes as a weed in the pots. and all over the ground.
Thank you very much sir

… may not be as good at identifying Phyllanthus species as much as managed to impress !!
Your photos show P. tenellus, has naturalized in our country … a beautiful weed.
Not good at describing differences between P. fraternus and P. tenellus
… let me try : if the flowers / fruits are seen with a long stalk (well, this long stalk is just about 3 – 4 mm), it is got to be P. tenellus; they are also found to be above the leaf.
P. fraternus, (and so is P. amarus) the flowers are practically sessile to plain vision, and you need to see the flowers and fruits under the leaves … friends may correct me if my experience is wrong.
Both … have dissected the complexity of P. niruri at efi thread.

will you please go through the mails you have send for these two species? I may be wrong but please confirm that they are not same.

all the doubts are cleared by …
And what he say is correct. It is P. tenellus.
I think i had exchanged some mails regarding it. Thanks again
I have started growing the plant without de weeding and it has gone to about 10 inches.


Phyllanthus tenellus Roxb. Phyllanthaceae, Euphorbiaceae s. l.
in Goregaon on 27 AUG 08
at Veermata Jeejabai Bhosale Udyan on 15 MAY 10

I think the identity is correct.


Phyllanthus for ID
This small herb was spotted in Satara on way to Kas.

Phyllanthus tenellus is a weed in gardens. It is native of Mauritius

I think the identification is correct.


Phyllanthus For ID : Lalbagh,Bangalore : 031213 : AK-6 :  Attachments (2).  4 posts by 3 authors.
A small plant seen growing wild in the Lalbagh gardens.
Phyllanthus species.
Kindly id.

Phyllanthus tenellus

Yes, Phyllanthus tenellus.


Requesting ID – Phyllanthus :: ARKJAN-27/27 : 5 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (5)
Request to please provide ID of this Phyllanthus captured as a weed in my balcony garden in Mumbai in December 2014.

I think your plant is Phyllanthus tenellus.

Please try to preserve some seeds.

Isn’t this supposed to be a weed? Are the seeds medicinal?


SK1624 05 Dec 2018 : 12 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (6)- around 750 kb each.
Location: Kowloon Park, Hong Kong 
Date: 31 October  2018
Elevation: 0 ft.
Habit : Cultivated
Which Phyllanthus sp. ?

Male flowers with disc glands. Female sepals white-margined.  Phyllanthus.

Please try to match here

Phyllanthus fraternus G.L.Webster. ?? But not listed in HK.

may be Phyllanthus reticulatus.

I am sorry. Not getting the species.

Phyllanthus rheedii please check

Yes, Phyllanthus rheedei is a good match! However, I was hesitating as to the location and mention of its being cultivated!
The species is so far known to occur in peninsular India to Sri Lanka and again in North-east India. I have seen a recent specimen from Bangladesh which is not officially recorded. Beyond that, the species is not known so far. P. rheedei is a herb up to 60 (-100) cm high.  Saroj ji should enlighten about the height of his plant and under which circumstances he found this under cultivation.

Could be P. tenellus.

Tenellus was recently reported from hk from cultivation.

Thank you …  It looks good match.
Phyllanthus tenellus Roxb.
Plant is just on left side of the Kowloon Mosque.


Euphorbiaceae Fortnight : 07112013 ARK-33 : For ID : Mumbai : August 2013 : Attachments (3). 4 posts by 3 authors.
Attached are pictures of a plant captured in a garden growing wild in Mumbai in August 2013.
Requested to please provide ID.

Phyllanthus tenellus, perhaps.

efi page on Phyllanthus tenellus 

Looks matching !

Agree with Phyllanthus tenellus.

To me also appears close to images at To me also appears close to images at Phyllanthus tenellus

Phyllanthus tenellus.

Euphorbiaceae fortnight : Phyllanthus sp. for id confirmation BRS 031 : Attachments (2). 3 posts by 3 authors.
Pl. find the attached file contain photo for id. confirmation.
Location: Adyar, Chennai
Date: 11.11.2013
Habitat: Garden
Habit: Herb

… must be Phyllanthus tenellus. Please wait for validating comments.

Looks like Phyllanthus rheedei. Or else P. airy-shawii. I am not sure from the photographs.

I guess Phyllanthus rheedei looks close.

I think it’s Phyllanthus tenellus

To me also looks close to images at Phyllanthus tenellus

check with P.tenellus

Phyllanthus tenellus.




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