Phyllanthus pentaphyllus

Phyllanthus pentaphyllus C. Wr. ex Griseb.

Common Names: Tufted Phyllanthus

Family: Phyllanthaceae (formerly part of the Euphorbiaceae)

Habit: Phyllanthus pentaphyllus grows as a perennial herb to 30 cm in height and becoming woody at the base. There are deciduous branches with 10-25 alternate distichous leaves.  The leaves are ovate to spathulate, to 6 cm (usually smaller), with an entire margin and with a rounded leaf apex.

Phyllanthus pentaphyllus is monoecious. The incomplete, imperfect, actinomorphic  flowers are arranged in very small cymes that occur in the axils of leaves. The 1st and 2nd cymes nearest the man stem have only staminate flowers.  The remaining cymes on the side branches have staminate and carpellate flowers.  The staminate flowers have 5 fused sepals in the calyx and 2 stamens.  Carpellate flowers have 5 fused sepals.  The ovary is superior with 3 locules.  The fruit is a 3-lobed capsule.

Habitat: Phyllanthus pentaphyllus grows in the understory of open Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation Woodlands (coppice), Sabal palmetto Woodlands and Pine Woodlands.

Distribution: Phyllanthus pentaphyllus occurs throughout the Lucayan Archipelago and the Caribbean region.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Phyllanthus pentaphyllus is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.