Plants photographed on Kyffhäuser
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Phyllanthus maderaspatensis L.

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Phyllanthus maderaspatensis

Image 1
Leaves and flowers
16 Dec 2008

Phyllanthus maderaspatensis

Image 2
Leaves and flowers
16 Dec 2008

Phyllanthus maderaspatensis

Image 3
18 Mar 2007

Phyllanthus maderaspatensis

Image 4
21 Mar 2008

Phyllanthus maderaspatensis

Image 5
21 Mar 2008

Phyllanthus maderaspatensis

Image 6
11 Dec 2017

Family: Euphorbiaceae
Full name: Phyllanthus maderaspatensis L.
ID status: Fairly certain
Afrikaans common name(s): Skilpadbossie, Bosluisbos
English common name(s): -
Synonym(s): Phyllanthus maderaspatensis L. var. maderaspatensis
Phyllanthus thonningii Schumach. & Thonn. (1827)
Phyllanthus guenzii Müll.Arg.
Phyllanthus paxianus Dinter (1926)
Status: Native
Description: Woody-based herb, sometimes flowering as ephemeral, 15–90(–120) cm high; usually glabrous throughout; stems all similar, scale-leaves absent. Leaves spirally arranged, blade linear-lanceolate to obovate, (7–)10–35(–60) x (1–)2–12(–17) mm, coriaceous; stipules ovate, 1.5–2(–4) mm long, acuminate. Monoecious, all axils with female flowers, upper also with 1–4 male flowers. Flowers 6-merous. Male: pedicel c. 1 mm; sepals suborbicular, c. 1 x 0.8 mm; disc glands small, smooth; stamens 3, filaments partly united, anthers longitudinally dehiscent. Female: pedicel 1.5–2 mm; sepals suborbicular to subspathulate, c. 2 x 1.5 mm; disc glands square, flat, thin; ovary sessile, styles free. Capsule 1.2–2 x 3 mm, smooth, olivaceous. Seeds 3-sided, 1.3 mm long, light brown with rows of minute tubercles on back and sides. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora Somalia)

An erect, suberect or decumbent much-branched glabrous annual or perennial herb up to 1 m tall, monoecious. Lead shoots and lateral shoots differing chiefly in leaf size, angular, often reddish- or brownish-tinged. Leaves spirally arranged; petioles (0.5)1(2) mm long; stipules 1–4 mm long, asymmetrically triangular-lanceolate, acutely acuminate, subentire, cordate-auriculate on one side at the base, whitish or pinkish-cream with a median brown stripe. Leaf blades 1–5.5(7.5) x 0.2–1.5(1.8) cm on the lead shoots, 0.5–3 x 0.05–0.9 cm on the lateral shoots, linear, lanceolate, oblong, oblanceolate or obovate, acute, subacute, obtuse or rounded, rounded-cuneate to attenuate at the base, chartaceous, smooth or slightly asperulous-papillose beneath and along the marginal nerve, grey-green above, somewhat glaucous beneath, sometimes edged with red; lateral nerves in 4–10 pairs, apically-directed, sometimes looped towards the apex, not prominent above, usually prominent beneath. Flowers present in almost all axils, distal axils with male or bisexual few-flowered fascicles, proximal with solitary female flowers. Male flowers: pedicels 0.5–1 mm long; sepals 6, biseriate, the outer sepals 1.1–1.2 x 0.8 mm, obovate-spathulate, acute, the inner sepals 1.2 x 0.6 mm, oblong, rounded, yellowish-green; disk glands 6, minute, free, rounded, thin, flat, smooth; stamens 3, 1 mm long, filaments united into a short column, anthers 0.6 mm long, vertically held, apically free, thecae bilobed, longitudinally dehiscent, yellow. Female flowers: pedicels c. 2 mm long, not extending in fruit; sepals 6, biseriate, the outer accrescent to 1.8 x 1.2–1.3 mm, suborbicular-obovate, subacute, the inner sepals to 1.8 x 1–1.2 mm, somewhat spathulate, obtuse, dull green, often pinkish- or purplish-tinged, white-margined; disk glands 6, 0.3 mm across, free, squarish, thin, flat, smooth; ovary c. 1 mm in diameter, sessile, rounded-3-lobed, smooth; styles 3, 0.75 mm long, free, erect, shortly bifid. Fruit 2 x 3 mm, depressedrounded-3-lobed, smooth, somewhat shiny, olivaceous, often reddish-tinged. Seeds 1.5 x 1.2 x 1.1 mm, segmentiform, dark brown, slightly shiny, with 12–15(22) rows of darker brown or blackish tubercles on the dorsal facet, and 11–12 concentric arcs of such tubercles on each ventral facet, the tubercles connected by a lattice of shallow lineate ridges. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora Zambesiaca)

A woody undershrub, very variable in habit; flowering branchlets sharply angular, almost winged or variously compressed, glabrous or minutely asperulate; leaves linear-lanceolate or oblanceolate, variable in size, up to 1.5 in. long and 0.5 in. broad, rather rigidly membranous or thinly chartaceous, glabrous or slightly asperulate; lateral nerves about 7 on each side of the midrib, usually prominent below; petiole short, glabrous; stipules lanceolate, acuminate, broad and auriculate at the base, nearly 1.5 lin. long, 0.75 lin. broad at the base, membranous, glabrous; flowers monúcious, the male and female often together in the leaf-axils, or more often the females solitary, much larger than the males; pedicels about 1 lin. long; male flowers: sepals 6, oblong-lanceolate, 0.666 lin. long, membranous, glabrous; disc-glands 6, thin and smooth, flat; stamens 3; filaments connate; anthers dehiscing longitudinally; female flowers: sepals 6, 2-seriate, 3 outer ovate-elliptic or rounded, slightly apiculate, 1 lin. long, 0.75 lin. broad, coriaceous, glabrous, 3 inner slightly narrower, with narrow membranous margins: disc of 6 separate flat thin glands; ovary lobed; styles 3, distinct, suberect, thick, bifid; capsule depressed-globose, 1.5 lin. in diam., 3-lobed, smooth; seeds trigonous, convex on the back, 0.75 lin. long and broad, and marked with 9–10 fine lines of dots on the back. (from JSTOR Global Plants website / Flora Capensis)

Erect or decumbent annual or perennial herb, up to c. 1 m tall. Stems branched, angular, often reddish or brownish tinged. Leaves spirally arranged, up to 6 cm long on main shoots, usually much smaller on lateral branches, linear, lanceolate, oblong, oblanceolate or obovate, grey-green above, paler blue-green beneath, sometimes edged reddish; lateral veins 4-10 pairs, not prominent above, prominent beneath; petiole up to 2 mm long. Stipules 1-4 mm long asymmetrically triangular-lanceolate, cordate-auriculate on one side at the base, whitish to pinkish-cream with a brownish central line. Flowers in few-flowered clusters at almost all leaf axils; male flowers with sepals yellowish-green on pedicels up to 1 mm long; female flowers with sepals dull green, often pinkish-purple tinged, on pedicels c. 2 mm long. Fruit 2 × 3 mm, depressed rounded-3-lobed, smoth and somewhat shiny, olive-green, often reddish-tinged. (from Flora of Zimbabwe website)

6 sepals

Leaf venation prominent (from
Link(s) African Plant Database
JSTOR Plant Science
Kew Herbarium Catalogue
BGBM Berlin-Dahlem - Virtual Herbarium
Züricher Herbarien
iNaturalist (Namibia / Alex Dreyer)
iNaturalist (Namibia)
iNaturalist (southern Africa)
Flora of Zimbabwe
Fleurs de notre Terre - Galerie Namibie
Tree Atlas of Namibia
Content last updated: 18 Apr 2024

Note: The identification of some of the plants on this website is not 100% certain. Any comments will be highly appreciated. I would also be willing to supply higher resolution images upon request. Please contact me at the e-mail address given below.

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