Phyllanthus pentandrus Schumach. & Thonn.

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Phyllanthus pentandrus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Mana Pools, by main road to camp

Phyllanthus pentandrus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Mana Pools, by main road to camp

Phyllanthus pentandrus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Mana Pools, by main road to camp

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Phyllanthus deflexus Klotzsch
Phyllanthus dilatatus Klotzsch
Phyllanthus scoparius Welw.
Common names:
Status: Native
Delicate, decumbent to erect annual herb, up to 60 cm tall. Stems little branched at first but much-branched in older plants. Leaves linear-lanceolate to elliptic-lanceolate, up to 4.5 cm long, green above, paler grey green beneath, sometimes pink-tinged, produced on lateral branches up to 20 cm long; stipules and small scale-like leaves, narrowly triangular, c. 1 mm long, often tinged reddish. Flowers in few-flowered bisexual axillary clusters with 1-3 males flowers and 1 female flower per inflorescence, sometimes male flowers in unisexual clusters in the lower axils and female flowers solitary in the upper axils of each branch. Sepals white, cream or greenish-white with a pink midrib; petals absent. Male and female flowers similar but female flowers slightly larger. Fruit 1.2 × 2 mm, depressed subglobose, olive-green.
Derivation of specific name: pentandrus: with five stamens.
Habitat: In various types of woodland, grassland, rocky areas and disturbed areas, usually on sandy soils.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:Nov - Mar
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical Africa and Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Malawi distribution: N,C,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 29.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 58.

Fabian, A. & Germishuizen, G. (1997). Wild Flowers of Northern South Africa. Fernwood Press, Vlaeburg. Pages 222 - 223. (Includes a picture).

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 93. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 42.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 50.

Radcliffe-Smith, A. (1996). Euphorbiaceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(4) Pages 57 - 58.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 58.

Other sources of information about Phyllanthus pentandrus:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Phyllanthus pentandrus
Flora of Caprivi: Phyllanthus pentandrus
Flora of Mozambique: Phyllanthus pentandrus
Flora of Zambia: Phyllanthus pentandrus
Flora of Zimbabwe: Phyllanthus pentandrus

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Phyllanthus pentandrus
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Phyllanthus pentandrus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Phyllanthus pentandrus
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Phyllanthus pentandrus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Phyllanthus pentandrus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Phyllanthus pentandrus
JSTOR Plant Science: Phyllanthus pentandrus
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Phyllanthus pentandrus
Plants of the World Online: Phyllanthus pentandrus
Tropicos: Phyllanthus pentandrus
Wikipedia: Phyllanthus pentandrus

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Phyllanthus pentandrus., retrieved 22 July 2024

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