Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Phyllanthaceae
Phyllanthus australis

Citation: Hook. f., London J. Bot. 6:284 (1847).

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Pointed spurge.

A low glabrous undershrub, 5-30 cm high, with a woody base and numerous ascending very angular wiry branches, pale-green terminally; leaves spirally inserted, scarcely but distinctly petiolate, distant except near the ends of the branches, narrowly or broadly elliptical-oblong, 3-9 x 1-3 mm, cuneate, subacute, flat or sometimes slightly concave, with thickened margins and mid-nerve, coriaceous, green to green-glaucous; stipules ovate-acute, 0.5-1 mm long, leathery, reddish-brown; dioecious.

Flowers axillary; male flowers 1-3, on slender pedicels 2-6 mm (usually to 3 mm) long; perianth-segments c. 2 mm long, oblong-obovate, green or red with white broad scarious margins; anthers and filaments free, short, erect; cells small, dehiscing lengthwise; female flowers solitary, on 3-6 mm long peduncles which become thickened towards the end in fruit; perianth-segments ovate, 1.5-2 mm long, narrower than the male segments, green with narrower white scarious margins; ovary glabrous, styles deeply divided into 2 linear spreading lobes; the disk flat, broadly lobed.

Capsule depressed-globular, 3-4 mm diam., slightly 3-lobed, smooth, green to brown; seed c. 1.7 mm long, brown to reddish-brown, minutely granular lengthwise, the granules made up of papillae.

image of FSA2_Phyllanthus_aus.jpg Phyllanthus australis habit, male and female twigs, fruit and 2 cocci.
Image source: fig 406a in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Distribution:  From coastal dunes to inland in open places, not very common.


Conservation status: native

Flowering time: June — Jan.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: No text

Taxonomic notes: One specimen from NW (Mt Davies Camp) shows most similarities with P. australis, less with P. aridus Benth. or P. saxosus and the real identity of this specimen needs further study.

Author: Not yet available

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