A genus of 800-900 species, trees, shrubs, and herbs, of tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions of the Old and New Worlds. Phyllanthus, as recently treated very broadly was heterogeneous, paraphyletic with respect to other genera, and needed either to be divided or expanded even further. Bouman et al. (2021) stated "based on the recognizability of the monophyletic groups, redefining them as genera (which was once the case) is the best option, as, in spite of the many name changes, it provides a better reflection of the evolutionary history of Phyllanthus s.l. and will in the future improve identifications greatly. Instead of one giant genus, where identification is difficult and evolution is only depicted by the various subgenera, it is more sensible and worthwhile to recognize separate genera that highlight the morphological variation within the tribes. Additionally, patterns of floral convergence can be discussed in the light of separate lineages, highlighting the complex diversity of tribe Phyllantheae." Bouman et al. (2022) implemented the taxonomic changes. The subgenera and sections shown in the key are those of Bouman et al. (2022).
Ref: Bouman et al. (2021); Bouman et al. (2022); Govaerts, Frodin, & Radcliffe-Smith (2000); Levin (2016c) In Flora of North America Editorial Committee (2016); Levin, Wilder, & McCollom (2018); Rossignol, Rossignol, & Haicour (1987); Webster (1970); Webster (2014) In Kubitzki (2014). Show full citations.