Phyllanthaceae

Indian gooseberry Phyllanthus officinalis, photographed by L. Shyamal.


Belongs within: Malpighiales.

The Phyllanthaceae is a pantropical family of flowering plants, treated in the past as a subgroup of the Euphorbiaceae but now separated due to their distinct phylogenetic position within the Malpighiales (Davis et al. 2007). They often have finely-cracking bark, two-ranked and entire leaves lacking glands, and explosively dehiscent fruits (Angiosperm Phylogeny Website). Some species of Phyllanthus are utilised for food: for instance, the sour fruits of Phyllanthus acidus and P. officinalis are used in pickles (Polunin 1988).

Characters (from the Angiosperm Phylogeny Website): Herbs to trees; plants aluminium accumulators; cyanogenesis via the tyrosine pathway, tropane and pyrrolizidine alkaloids, cucurbitacins, nonhydrolysable tannins present, ellagic acid absent; vessel elements with simple or scalariform perforation plates; leaves on orthotropic axes often reduced, spiral, on plagiotropic axes two-ranked (occasionally spiral), involute or conduplicate, margins entire (sometimes toothed); calyx 2-8(-12) sepals, often basally connate, corolla (0, 3-)5(-9) petals, disc extra- or interstaminal (sometimes absent or central); staminate flowers: anthers 2-35, often more or less connate, extrorse, pollen reticulate; carpellate flowers: gynoecium 1 [2-5(-15)], outer integument 2-many and inner integument 2-3(-5) cells across, nucellus 10 or more cells across, protruding, obturator placental, styles usually bifid, stigmas with adaxial furrow, wet; fruit a septicidal capsule/schizocarp; seeds large; tegmen 2-5(-20) cells thick, exotegmen with ribbon-like cells (smetimes radially elongated); endosperm copious (occasionally absent).

<==Phyllanthaceae
    |--Bischofia [Bischofiaceae] DL07
    |    `--B. javanica C78
    `--Phyllanthus [Phyllanthoideae] VR02
         |--P. acidus [=Cicca acida] P88
         |--P. airy-shawii MS03
         |--P. amarus PP07
         |--P. beddomei (Gamble) Mohanan 1985 [=Reidia beddomei Gamble 1925] VR02
         |--P. calycinus SM06
         |--P. clarkei Hooker 1887 MS03
         |--P. dinteri CV06
         |--P. emblica P03
         |--P. fraternus KJ05
         |--P. fuernrohrii KM08
         |--P. lamprophyllus HM03
         |--P. lindenianus J87
         |    |--P. l. var. lindenianus J87
         |    `--P. l. var. inaequifolius J87
         |--P. maderaspatensis EF04
         |--P. myriophyllus J87
         |--P. niruri C55
         |--P. officinalis [=Emblica officinalis] P88
         |--P. parvifolius Don 1825 [incl. P. juniperinus Wallich ex Mueller-Argoviensis 1863] MS03
         |--P. polyphyllus UB06
         |--P. praetervisus Mueller-Argoviensis 1865 [=P. juniperinus var. obovatus Mueller-Argoviensis 1863] MS03
         |--P. pseudoparvifolius Mitra & Sanjappa 2003 MS03
         |--P. reticulatus GC05
         |--P. rotundifolius Klein ex Willdenow 1805 A02
         |--P. urinaria K03
         |--P. virgatus P03
         `--P. watsonii P88

*Type species of generic name indicated

REFERENCES

[A02] Augustine S. J., Fr. K. T. 2002. Rediscovery of Phyllanthus rotundifolius Klein ex Willd., Euphorbiaceae, after 101 years (1899-2000) in Kanchipuram district, Tamil Nadu, south India. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 99 (3): 562-564.

[C55] Candolle, A. de. 1855. Géographie Botanique Raisonée: Ou exposition des faits principaux et des lois concernant la distribution géographique des plantes de l’époque actuelle vol. 2. Librairie de Victor Masson: Paris.

[C78] Clunie, N. M. U. 1978. The vegetation. In Handbooks of the Flora of Papua New Guinea vol. 1 (J. S. Womersley, ed.) pp. 1-11. Melbourne University Press: Carlton South (Australia).

[CV06] Craven, P., & P. Vorster. 2006. Patterns of plant diversity and endemism in Namibia. Bothalia 36 (2): 175-189.

[DL07] Davis, C. C., M. Latvis, D. L. Nickrent, K. J. Wurdack & D. A. Baum. 2007. Floral gigantism in Rafflesiaceae. Science 315: 1812.

[EF04] Etten, E. J. B. van, & J. E. D. Fox. 2004. Vegetation classification and ordination of the central Hamersley Ranges, Western Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 87 (2): 63-79.

[GC05] Granjon, L., J.-F. Cosson, E. Quesseveur & B. Sicard. 2005. Population dynamics of the multimammate rat Mastomys huberti in an annually flooded agricultural region of central Mali. Journal of Mammalogy 86 (5): 997-1008.

[HM03] Holloway, J. D., & S. E. Miller. 2003. The composition, generic placement and host-plant relationships of the joviana-group in the Parallelia generic complex (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae, Catocalinae). Invertebrate Systematics 17: 111-128.

[J87] Judd, W. S. 1987. Floristic study of Morne La Visite and Pic Macaya National Parks, Haiti. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum – Biological Sciences 32 (1): 1-136.

[KJ05] Katewa, S. S., A. Jain, B. L. Chaudhary & P. Galav. 2005. Some unreported medicinal uses of plants from the tribal area of Southern Rajasthan. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 47 (1-4): 121-130.

[KM08] Keighery, G. J., & W. Muir. 2008. Vegetation and vascular flora of Faure Island, Shark Bay, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 75: 11-19.

[K03] Kulip, J. 2003. An ethnobotanical survey of medicinal and other useful plants of Muruts in Sabah, Malaysia. Telopea 10 (1): 81-98.

[MS03] Mitra, R. L. & M. Sanjappa. 2003. Phyllanthus parvifolius, P. clarkei (Euphorbiaceae) and related Indian taxa. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 45 (1-4): 1-20.

[PP07] Pandey, R. P. & P. M. Padhye. 2007. Studies on phytodiversity of Arid Machia Safari Park-Kailana in Jodhpur (Rajasthan). Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 49 (1-4): 15-78.

[P03] Paul, T. K. 2003. Botanical observations on the Purulia pumped storage hydropower project area, Bagmundi Hills, Purulia district, West Bengal. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 45 (1-4): 121-142.

[P88] Polunin, I. 1988. Plants and Flowers of Malaysia. Times Editions: Singapore.

[SM06] Semeniuk, C. A., L. A. Milne, P. Ladd & V. Semeniuk. 2006. Pollen in the surface sediments of wetlands in the Becher Point area, southwestern Australia: a baseline for use in interpreting Holocene sequences. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 89 (1): 27-43.

[UB06] Udayan, P. S. & I. Balachandran. 2006. Cleistanthus sankunnianus Sivar. & Indu Balach.—a rare and little known endemic plant rediscovered from wild populations in Kollam district of Kerala state, India. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 48 (1-4): 217-218.

[VR02] Viswanathan, M. B., N. Ramesh, M. Maridass & U. Manikandan. 2002. Rediscovery of a critically endangered species Phyllanthus beddomei (Gamble) Mohanan, Euphorbiaceae, from Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve in India. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 99 (3): 560-562.

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