Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Seed-under-the-leaf (509)

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  • Restricted. In New Zealand, Fiji.
  • Pioneer annual species, common in disturbed and cultivated land, tolerating waterlogged areas as well as drought (long tap root). Produces abundant seed, and short life cycle. Weed of wetland rice.
  • Erect or spreading, up to 60 cm, round, smooth stems, woody at base. Leaves compound up to 18 cm long, with short-stalks, oval leaflets alternating along stem. Flowers small, greenish, paired, beneath leaves. Seeds minute.
  • Spread: seed by mowing, slashing; on machinery and vehicles. Long history of use in traditional medicines.
  • Biosecurity: risk is unofficial introduction of seed and plants. Check imported machinery/vehicles. Check seed of other species. Available on Internet.
  • Biocontrol: none.
  • Cultural control: hand-weed; slashing (but stem pieces regrow). Mulch (5-10cm) to prevent seedling growth. Clean soil and seed on machinery/vehicles.
  • Chemical control: in Australia, diquat/paraquat; flumioxazin; hexazinone/diuron; amicarbazone; isoxaflutole/terbuthylazone. In Fiji, glyphosate.
Common Name

Seed-under-the-leaf; it is also known as gale of the wind, stonebreaker.

Scientific Name

Phyllanthus niruri. It is a member of the Phyllanthaceae. Previously, it was placed in the Euphorbiaceae.

AUTHORS Grahame Jackson & Makereta Ranadi
Information from weeds of Fiji. Department of Agriculture Bulletin No.35: 73-74; and CABI Phyllanthus niruri (seed-under-the-leaf) (2019) Crop Protection Compendium. (; and from Czarnota M (2006) CAES Newswire. College of Agricultural & Environmental Science. University of Georgia. ( Photo 1 Dvellakat. Kizhanelli is a medical liver tonic. Wikimedia Commons. ( Photo 2 Challiyan. Phyllanthus niruri,jpg. Wikipedia Commons. ( Photo 4 Vengolis. Phyllanthus niruri. Wikimedia Commons. (

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project HORT/2016/185: Responding to emerging pest and disease threats to horticulture in the Pacific islands, implemented by the University of Queensland, in association with the Pacific Community and Koronivia Research Station, Ministry of Agriculture, Fiji.

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