Phyllanthus niruri controversy in India

There is an interesting controversy on P. niruri in India and this has the potential to start a great debate. Currently i would like to annotate some research articles here which are found by @Lakshmy

Germinating potential of Phyllanthus amarus seeds: evaluation of biochemical parameters | SpringerLink Though the medicinal plant has been distinguished according to the morphological features by the taxonomist, the species P. amarus is often mistaken for other closely related species such as Phyllanthus niruri , Phyllanthus debilis , Phyllanthus maderaspatensis and Phyllanthus virgatus


Systematic Studies in Herbaceous Phyllanthus Spp. (Region: Tiruchirappalli District in India) and a Simple Key to Authenticate ‘Bhumyamalaki’ Complex Members - CORE
P. niruri L. is a native of New World and endemic to America and does not occur in India, although there are many publications in India claiming work on P. niruri L. Those reports are actually pertaining to investigations in ‘niruri complex’ but not on P. niruri L.
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).

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Gonzales County, where it appears to be extirpated; L. E. Brown and S. J. Marcus 1998); it is widespread in the American tropics. Like P. urinaria, it is widely used in folk medicine and is the subject of intense pharmacological research. Plants from outside the West Indies and Caribbean northern South America often have been segregated as subsp. lathyroides; the differences are trivial and recent authors (G. L. Webster 2001; V. W. Steinmann 2007) did not subdivide the species.

Some of key differences in Phyllanthus amarus and Phyllanthus niruri

  • Leaf apex
  • Arrangement of male & female flowers
  • glands

-leaf apex is slightly pointed in amarus but completely round in niruri

-Male flowers are at the base then male and females from the same node but different stalks and then female flowers are the top, whereas in niruri male flowers are the top and females are at the top.

-Lobed glands in amarus but unlobed in niruri

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How can identity male and female flower in phyllanthus niruri? It have any distinguishable features ? :thinking: @KiranyadavR ma’am

If it’s true, P. niruri, being a mixture of 3 different species of Phyllanthus while botanists and taxonomists in India kept emphasizing that they’re working on endemic Phyllanthus niruri species. Could this be the biggest scam in Phyllanthus studies?