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Concept of Phyllanthus niruri (Euphorbiaceae) in Indian Floras


The study reveals that 'Phyllanthus nirui in Fora of British India is a mixture of three distinct species, viz., P. amarus Schum. & Thonn., P. fraternus Webster and P. debilis Klein ex Willd., the true P. niruri Linn, being endemic to West Indies. It is further observed that true P. debilis Klein ex Willd. (1804) is not correctly recognised in any Indian Flora and the plant that goes under the name is an altogether different species-P. debilis Herb. Ham. ex Hook.f. (1887), which however, being a later homonym is to be replaced by P. aity-shawii Brunei & Roux (1984). P. mukerjeeanus Mitra & Bennet has been found to represent juvenile form of P. debilis Klein ex Willd., hence reduced to the synonymy of that species. To facilitate proper identification a key to the different taxa of this complex in India is provided and their diagnostic characters are described and illustrated.


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