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Phyllanthus myrtifolius (Wight) Mull. Arg.

Family Name: Phyllanthaceae
Common Name: Ceylon Myrtle, Mousetail Plant
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Bonsai Ornamental Foliage Woody


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Growth Form Shrub
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Sri Lanka
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Popular ornamental shrub that grows up to 3 m tall.
Foliage Small, lanceolate to oblong leaves are light green and have alternate leaf arrangement. They are held in the same plane in 2 files along the stem.
Stems Thin, flexible stems droop gracefully downwards. Stems are highly branched, producing a dense crown.
Flowers Small flowers are pink to red.
Fruits Small fruits are round and slightly flattened.
Etymology Genus Phyllanthus means flowering from edges of leaf-like phyllodes. Species myrtifolius means myrtle-leaved.
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal ( This plant contains tannins which have anti-bacterial activity.)

Landscaping Features

Landscaping This species can be grown over a wall to form a dense, attractive hedge. It can also be grown along the edge of freshwater bodies.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Landscape Uses Flowerbed / Border, Bonsai

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Pink

Image Repository



Master ID 1041
Species ID 2334
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 16 May 2019.