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Four-Stamen Leaf-Flower
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Four-Stamen Leaf-Flower
P Native Photo: M. Sawmliana
Common name: Four-Stamen Leaf-Flower • Bengali: Angrua • Mizo: Thing-mitthi-sunhlu
Botanical name: Phyllanthus tetrandrus    Family: Phyllanthaceae (Amla family)
Synonyms: Phyllanthus roxburghii, Epistylium roxburghii, Diasperus tetrandrus

Four-Stamen Leaf-Flower is a shrub or tree, 1.5-3 m tall, with branchlets brown to reddish-brown, round, 1-5 mm thick, rusty-hairy, hairless in age. Leaves are obliquely ovate-oblong to ovate-lanceshaped, 2.5-10 x 1.2-3.5 cm, oblique at base, entire along margins, pointed to apiculate at tip, thinly papery, hairless on both surfaces; midvein prominent on both surfaces, lateral nerves slender, 7-10 per side, faint on both surfaces. Leaf-stalks are 1-2 mm long, 0.5-0.8 mm thick. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils; male cymules in the proximal axils, 3-5-flowered; female cymules in the distal axils, solitary (often vice versa). Male flowers have flower-stalks 4-6 mm long, sepals 2 + 2, nearly round, about 1 x 1 mm, pinkish red, strongly fringed with hairs. Stamens are 4; filaments minute, anther-thecae oblong, about 0.4 mm long, horizontal. Female flowers have flower-stalks 6-15 mm long, sepals 6, broadly ovate to nearly round, about 1.5 x 1.2-1.5 mm,fringed with hairs, styles 3, free, about 0.5 mm long. Fruits are nearly spherical, slightly depressed, 3 x 5 mm, shallowly 3-lobed, smooth, hairless, brown when dry; fruiting flower-stalks 1.5-2.0 cm long. Four-Stamen Leaf-Flower is extremely rare in edges of evergreen forests or interior forests on moist soil at elevations between 950-1050 m, in Assam, Manipur and Mizoram and Sylhet. Flowering: September-December.

Identification credit: M. Sawmliana Photographed in Ruallung area, Mizoram.

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