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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Euphorbiaceae
Phyllanthus saxosus

Citation: F. Muell., Linnaea 25:441 (1852).

Synonymy: P. gunnii Hook.f. var. saxosus (F. Muell.)Benth., Fl. Aust. 6:111 (1873).

Common name: Rockspurge.

A tall shrub, sometimes almost arborescent, 1-2 m high, rarely more, glabrous, ultimate branches slender and somewhat angular; leaves alternate, more or less distichous, broadly obovate to more or less orbicular, often somewhat oblique, 5-15 x 2.5-16 mm, subacute to obtuse or retuse, distinctly veined; stipules lanceolate, 1-2 mm long, leathery; dioecious.

Perianth-segments in both sexes ovate-acute, to 2 mm long, with scarious margins; male flowers 2-6, in axillary clusters pendent on peduncles to 2 mm long; filaments and anthers free; anther-cells parallel; glands prominent; female flowers usually solitary on pedicels 5-6 mm long in fruit; styles 3, spreading, 2-fid; disc entire or 6-lobed.

Capsule depressed-globular, 4-5 mm diam., slightly 3-lobed, brown to dark-brown, smooth or with inconspicuous furrows, much exceeding the sepals which are not enlarged; seed 2-2.5 mm long, brown streaked lengthwise with reddish lines, otherwise smooth.

image of FSA2_Phyllanthus_sax.jpg Phyllanthus saxosus 2 twigs, fruit and 2 cocci.
Image source: fig 406g in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Distribution:  S.Aust.: GT, FR, EA, EP, NL, MU, SL, KI, SE.   W.Aust. (Esperance Bay).

Conservation status: native

Flowering time: all year around but mostly in spring.

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

Biology: No text

Taxonomic notes: Differs from P. gunnii chiefly in being constantly dioecious not monoecious, but perhaps merely a variety as suggested by Mueller (1852). The illustrations of P. gunnii show virtually no other differences in the plants (Galbraith (1977) Wildflowers of south-east Australia, pl. 72:fig. 1; Costermans (1981) Native trees and shrubs of southeastern Australia, p. 208; Cunningham et al. (1982) Plants of western New South Wales, p. 460).

Author: Not yet available

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