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Breynia androgyna (Variegated)


Breynia androgyna (Variegated)

Family Name: Phyllanthaceae
Synonyms: Sauropus androgynus (Variegated)


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Infraspecific Epithet

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Shrubby
Maximum Height 1 m to 3 m


Native Distribution Of horticultural origin
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Secondary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal, Temperate

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Slender, with short lateral branching.
Foliage Leaves oval, white/silvery variegated, 4-5cm long, grow in distinctly opposite pairs along stems.
Flowers Flowers apetalous, small but prominently produced in leaf axils. Female flowers have 6 red sepals surrounding a single creamy-coloured pistil, male flowers have 6 creamy sepals enclosing 3 reddish stamens.
Fruit Fruits are white explosive capsules with persistent red calyxes and many black seeds, resembling small white mangosteens.
Cultivation Takes full sun to semi-shade. Adapted to acidic soils, tolerates occasional flooding. Prune or harvest every few months to keep plant tidy, and prevent lanky plants from falling over. Pruning also rejuvenates the plant, which otherwise tends to die out. Propagation is usually by stem cuttings which root easily.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Fruits
Landscape Uses Flowerbed / Border, Hedge / Screening, Container Planting
Thematic Landscaping Economic Garden, Naturalistic Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic (Explosive Dehiscence)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast
Rootzone Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Acidic (low pH) Soils, Easy to Grow
Maintenance Requirements Low
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting (Tip)
Propagule Establishment Remarks Stem cuttings root easily.


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green - Bluish Green, Silver / Grey
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Thin
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Lanceolate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
Foliar Base Cuneate
Typical Foliar Area Notophyll ( 20.25cm2 - 45 cm2 )
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Herbaceous
Root Type Underground (Fibrous Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Unisexual Flowers , Monoecious
Flower Colour(s) Red
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flowering Period Free-Flowering
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) White
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Smooth
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type

Image Repository



Master ID 31199
Species ID 5593
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: 09 September 2023.