Phyllanthus acidus

(Linnaeus) Skeels

U.S.D.A. Bur. Pl. Industr. Bull. 148: 17. 1909. (as acida)

Common names: Otaheite or Tahitian gooseberry tree
Basionym: Averrhoa acida Linnaeus Sp. Pl. 1: 428. 1753
Synonyms: Cicca acida (Linnaeus) Merrill C. disticha Linnaeus
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 12. Treatment on page 341. Mentioned on page 335, 336.

Trees, monoecious, 20–100 dm; branching phyllanthoid. Stems: main stems and ultimate branchlets terete, not winged, glabrous. Leaves on main stems deciduous, spiral, scalelike; stipules not auriculate, dark brown. Leaves on ultimate branchlets deciduous with branchlets, distichous, well developed; stipules not auriculate, dark brown; blade broadly ovate to ovate-lanceolate, (40–)50–90 × (20–)25–45 mm, base obtuse or rounded, apex acute, both surfaces glabrous. Inflorescences cymules on leafless short shoots, on old wood bisexual with 1–9 pistillate flowers and 25–40 staminate flowers, on new growth bisexual on proximal shoots with 1–2 pistillate flowers and 8–12 staminate flowers, staminate on distal shoots with 8–12 flowers. Pedicels: staminate 1.5–3 mm, pistillate spreading in fruit, 2.3–5(–6) mm. Staminate flowers: sepals 4, reddish purple with pink to white margins, flat, 1.1–1.4(–1.5) mm; nectary extrastaminal, 4 glands; stamens (3–)4, filaments distinct. Pistillate flowers: sepals 4, green to reddish purple with pink to white margins, flat, (1–)1.2–1.4 mm, 1-veined; nectary annular, 4-lobed. Drupes greenish yellow to white, (12–)15–20(–25) mm diam., smooth. Seeds uniformly brown, 3.3–3.5 mm, smooth. 2n = 26 (West Indies).

Phenology: Flowering and fruiting year-round.
Habitat: Disturbed sites.
Elevation: 0–10 m.


V12 196-distribution-map.jpg

Introduced; Fla., South America (Brazil), introduced also in Mexico, West Indies, Central America, elsewhere in South America, Asia, Africa.


Phyllanthus acidus is widely cultivated in the tropics and subtropics for its edible drupes. In the flora area, it is known sparingly from Collier and Monroe counties.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

... more about "Phyllanthus acidus"
Geoffrey A. Levin +
(Linnaeus) Skeels +
Averrhoa acida +
Otaheite or Tahitian gooseberry tree +
Fla. +, South America (Brazil) +, introduced also in Mexico +, West Indies +, Central America +, elsewhere in South America +, Asia +  and Africa. +
0–10 m. +
Disturbed sites. +
Flowering and fruiting year-round. +
U.S.D.A. Bur. Pl. Industr. Bull. +
Introduced +
Cicca acida +  and C. disticha +
Phyllanthus acidus +
Phyllanthus +
species +