Large family with a tropical distribution, recently moved from Euphorbiaceae where previously was classed as subfamily Phyllanthoideae. It consists of 58 genera and about 2,100 species of trees, shrubs and herbaceous species. In North Africa it has several woody species in the genera Flueggea and Phyllanthus.

Kathriarachchi, H., Hoffmann, P., Samuel, R., Wurdack, K.J. & Chase, M.W. 2005. Molecular phylogenetics of Phyllanthaceae inferred from five genes (plastid atpB, matK, 3’ndhF, rbcL, and nuclear PHYC). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 36(1): 112–34.

Hoffmann, P., Kathriarachchi, H.S. & Wurdack, K.J. 2006. A Phylogenetic Classification of Phyllanthaceae”. Kew Bulletin. 61(1): 37–53.

Key to genera

1 Tree or shrub up to 6(8) m in height. Branchlets, petiole and leaves glabrous. Sepals whitish-green, erect. Fruit white when mature Flueggea

1 Small tree or shrub up to 3(4.5) m. in height. Branchlets, petiole and leavespubescent. Sepals extended, white, with a green central band. Fruit black when mature Phyllanthus

Updated by: J. Charco.