Phyllanthus oxyphyllus (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Phyllanthus oxyphyllus Miq.

Protologue: Fl. Ind. Bat., Suppl.: 179, 448 (1860).


  • Phyllanthus frondosus Wallich ex Muell. Arg. (1863),
  • Phyllanthus hasskarlianus Muell. Arg. (1863),
  • Phyllanthus kunstleri Hook.f. (1887).

Vernacular names

  • Piggyback tree (En)
  • Malaysia: asin-asin, cherek hantu, meroyan puteri (Peninsular)
  • Thailand: yaai chuung laan, yaai theep laan, yom hin (peninsular).


Peninsular Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra.


In Peninsular Malaysia, a decoction of the leaves may be applied to cure fever, and is given after childbirth as a protective medicine. It is also a diuretic and diaphoretic in treating gonorrhoea.


  • An evergreen, glabrous shrub or small tree up to 3 m tall with phyllanthoid branching, bole crooked; deciduous branchlets 15-42 cm long.
  • Leaves subsessile, oblong to oblong-lanceolate, 2-7 cm × 1-2 cm, cuneate to slightly cordate at base, apex long tapering, stipules minute, narrowly triangular; cymules borne directly in the leaf axils.
  • Male flowers in contracted cymules, calyx lobes 5-6, stamens 3, filaments almost connate, anthers apiculate; female flowers subsessile, solitary or accompanied by male ones, calyx lobes 5-6, styles free or connate below, bifid.
  • Fruit a subglobose capsule, 3-lobed, about 7 mm in diameter, red.

P. oxyphyllus is found in evergreen, primary or secondary rain forest, in lowland and mountains up to 1200 m altitude, sometimes on rocky places, rarely on limestone.

Selected sources

32, 34, 202, 284, 1126, 1227, 1564.

Main genus page


F.L. van Holthoon