Phyllanthus narayanswamii Gamble, Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1925: 329 1925.;
Peninsular India as per Flora of Peninsular India;


Euphorbiaceae fortnight: Phyllanthus for id :  Attachments (3). 6 posts by 3 authors.
Please Id this very small herb, a few inches high, tiny reddish flowers. Pics taken at Matheran on 14th October 2013.

Phyllanthus debilis

The capsules look warty, a feature of Phyllanthus virgatus, to me. I can be wrong but. Please check.

It’s true, they are. I’m slightly confused because in BSI Flora it mentions green flowers for P. debilis. Can this be a variable character?

In Phyllanthus simplex (virgatus) the fruiting pedicels are long and inverted.

Will this also be Phyllanthus narayanswamii Gamble ? as per DV :: 08 SEP 12 – 1009 :: Phyllanthus ¿ species ? at Sada Waghapur

That’s great. Perfect match. I confirm this as a new record for Maharashtra. Recently (in 2019) Phyllanthus narayanswamii has been merged under P. virgatus/P. simplex without seeing the recent Indian collections but these images are clearly showing the differences. Thank you so much for resurfacing.

Thank you all. This is very interesting.
Could you tell me where I can find a description of P. narayanswamii?

Pl. see at Notes on Phyllanthus narayanaswamii Gamble (Euphorbiaceae) and Dimeria lawsonii (Hook.f.) Fischer (Poaceae) – from the state of Tamil Nadu- V.s. Ramachandran- August 2015 Indian Forester 141(8):899-901



DV :: 08 SEP 12 – 1009 :: Phyllanthus ¿ species ? at Sada WaghapurSada Waghapurin Satara … about 3500 ft asl
high altitude lateritic tableland

Date & time: September 8, 2012 at 10.09am
Altitude: about 3526 ft asl
Habitat: soil pocket in lateritic tableland
Habit: herb about 20 -30 cm high, flower 1 – 2 mm across; fruit about 4 – 5 mm across

Phyllanthus virgatus

Can it be Phyllanthus debilis as per identification by … in another thread: Euphorbiaceae fortnight: Phyllanthus for id ?

Here again, is it P. urinaria? Yes or no?

To me looks different from images at Phyllanthus urinaria

This plant belongs to Phyllanthus subgen. Macraea.

As regards the identity, it is nearest to Phyllanthus narayanswamii Gamble; the present images form a new record for the State of Maharashtra.

Thank you very much … for taking up validation of the ID, and many thanks to … for resolving the ID to the nearest Phyllanthus narayanswamii Gamble.
I have updated pages at flickr accordingly.


Herb for ID : Matheran RDS 111012:
Clicked this erect herb at Matheran on last Sunday, requesting for valid ID.

… species of Phyllanthus.
Some more information could be helpful; size of: flower OR fruit OR leaf.

…, the size of the flower must be 3-4 mm and leave not above 2 Cms., it was (the plant) was somehow around 1 foot in height.

It may be Phyllanthus virgatus (= P. simplex).

,,… I think P. virgatus fruits hang by long slender stalks … please correct if wrong.
Posted plant looks similar to what I have posted for ID at

Very good point … Let’s await for more responses.

It is Phyllanhus simplex.
Phyllanthus simplex Retz., Observ. Bot. 5: 29. 1789; Müll.Arg. in DC. Prodr. 15(2): 391. 1866; Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 5: 295. 1887; Gamble, Fl. Madras 2(7): 1289. 1925 (repr. ed. 2: 902. 1957). Macraea oblongifolia Wight, Icon. Pl. Ind. Orient. 5(2): 27, t. 1902, f. 1. 1852. Phyllanthus simplex var. oblongifolius (Wight) Müll.Arg. in Linnaea 32: 32. 1863 & in DC., Prodr. 15 (2): 391. 1866; Hook.f., l. c. 295. 1887. P. virgatus auct. non G.Forst., 1786: Chakrab. & N.P.Balakr. in J. Econ. Taxon. Bot. Addit. Ser. 9: 98. 1992.
var. simplex 
Asm.: Bon-babri; Guj.: Motibhonyaanmali; Mar.: Bhuiavali; Sans.: Tandameral; Tel.: Uchchiyusirika
Herbs, annual or perennial, up to 20 cm high.
Fl. & Fr. Jan. – Dec. 
Distrib. India: Common weed in waste places, cultivated fields, roadsides, riverbanks, grasslands, forest undergrowth, up to 1500 m altitude; almost throughout the country including Andaman & Nicobar Islands. 
Sri Lanka (and India) to SE. Asia, S. China, Indo-China and Malesia.

In the posted plant we find the fruit to be having just about or under 1 mm stalk – is this an acceptable variation in P. virgatus (= P. simplex) ?

Many thanks to … for his response to my final query.
Am considering the posted plant to be Phyllanthus simplex Retz. var. simplex
From his response, these help me:
b. … Leaves mostly chartaceous; male pedicels and sepals ca 0.5 mm long; fruiting pedicels 2 – 6 mm long; seeds ca 1.5 mm long … … … 30.2. var. simplex
30.2. var. simplex
Flowering & fruiting: Jan. – Dec. (flowers: pale yellowish white or greenish; fruits: greenish).
Local names: Assm.: Bon-babri; Guj.: Motibhonyaanmali; Hindi: Bhuinamla; Mar.: Bruia-vali, Motithuiavali; Sans.: Tandameral; Tel.: Uchinyusirika.
Habitat: A common weed in waste placed, cultivated fields, roadsides, river banks, grassland, forest undergrowth, on loamy soil up to 1500 m altitude.
Distribution: Sri Lanka and India to SE. Asia, S. China and Malesia (in Melanesia intergrading with P. virgatus G. Forst.)

I strongly believe that it is Phyllanthus simplex and the variation indicated is only an individual variation due to polyploidy of this widely distributed weed. P. virgatus does not occur in India, as per reference of Webster. Our book on family Phyllanthaceae in Indian subcontinent is awaiting publication. First of all. we are offering VOLUME 23 OF FLORA OF INDIA, containing families Loranthaceae to Daphniphyllaceae, by BSI. It is in press now.

Is it not Phyllanthus debilis as per id by … at Euphorbiaceae fortnight: Phyllanthus for id ?

Please let me know whether it is Phyllanthus urinaria? If not, then it is problematical.

To me looks different from images at Phyllanthus urinaria

Please compare these images with Phyllanthus narayanswamii Gamble.


Catalogue of Life  The Plant List Ver.1.1  POWO (Phyllanthus virgatus G.Forst.) WCSP  IPNI  GBIF (High resolution specimens) Flora of peninsular India  IBIS Flora
Notes on Phyllanthus narayanaswamii Gamble (Euphorbiaceae) and Dimeria lawsonii (Hook.f.) Fischer (Poaceae) – from the state of Tamil Nadu- V.s. Ramachandran- August 2015 Indian Forester 141(8):899-901
Taxonomic and habitat update to Phyllanthus narayanswamii (Phyllanthaceae): an endemic and endangered species from southern India– August 2019 Phytotaxa 414(1):19 to 28- Koppineedi V Satish & Prakasa Rao Jonnakuti (Abstract- The present paper provides the supplementary information to Phyllanthus narayanswamii, which includes a detailed morphology, population, species associations, conservation status, current distribution, vegetation and land cover across different habitats and threats to the species survival in the habitats of uniqueness)

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