Phyllanthus engleri Pax

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Phyllanthus engleri

Drawing: Doreen Bolnick

Phyllanthus engleri

Drawing: Doreen Bolnick

Phyllanthus engleri

Drawing: Doreen Bolnick

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

Common names:
Status: Native
Glabrous, dioecious, shrub or small tree to 8 m. Bark grey, fissured. Leafy branchlets up to 30 cm, borne on stout 2-3 cm long spur-branchlets these bearing scale leaves, which harden into thick, stout spines. Foliage leaves usually suborbicular, dull to yellowish green above, ± glaucous beneath; apex rounded or obtuse; stipules 1-4 mm, lancolate, caducous. Flowers in fascicles. Male flowers: sepals (4-)5, strongly imbricate, ovate; disk glands 5; stamens free. Female flowers not known. Fruit subglobose, 1.5-2 × 2-2.5 cm, 3-lobed, yellowish-green, Seeds up to 6, c. 1 cm long.
Type location:
Derivation of specific name: engleri: named after Dr Prof Heinrich Gustav Adolf Engler (1844-1930), German Director of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Berlin, who initiated extensive botanical exploration in Africa.
Habitat: In hot, dry, deciduous woodland; also in Kalahari Sand vleis and on alluvial flats, often on termitaria.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): B,C,S
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Nw,Lk,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Tuesday 10 January 2017

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 415. (Includes a picture).

Coates Palgrave, K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Page 473. (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 251.

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.

Radcliffe-Smith, A. (1996). Euphorbiaceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(4) Page 47.

Other sources of information about Phyllanthus engleri:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Phyllanthus engleri
Flora of Mozambique: Phyllanthus engleri
Flora of Zimbabwe: Phyllanthus engleri

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-24

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2024). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Phyllanthus engleri., retrieved 21 April 2024

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