This species may be transferred to the genus Phyllanthus. A paper by Warren L. Wagner and David H. Lorence ‘A nomenclator of Pacific oceanic island Phyllanthus (Phyllanthaceae), including Glochidion’ PhytoKeys 4:67-94 (2011)[
], has proposed submerging the genera Breynia, Glochidion, Reverchonia, Phyllanthodendron, and Sauropus into a broadened concept of the genus Phyllanthus. This proposal has not yet (2014) been fully accepted, although the ‘World Checklist of Selected Plant Families’ has accepted the name changes of the Pacific Island species of Glochidion, as detailed in the paper. No revised form of this name has been seen as yet
Breynia rubra (Blume) Müll.Arg.
Breynia rumpens J.J.Sm.
Melanthesa cernua (Poir.) Decne.
Melanthesa rubra Blume
Phyllanthus blumei Steud.
Phyllanthus cernuus Poir.
Phyllanthus ruber Noronha
Photograph by: eyeweed
Breynia cernua is a shrub or a small tree, usually growing up to 2 metres tall but sometimes reaching up to 7 metres[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.
Southeast Asia - Malaysia, Indonesia, Phillipines, New Guinea, northern Australia, Solomon Islands
Usually encountered in very disturbed, anthropogenic habitats, and also in coastal vegetation, often on limestone, at elevations up to 450 metres[
A very variable species[
The leaf sap is drunk to soothe coughs[
The pounded leaves are applied as a poultice on swollen legs. The leaves are heated in salt water and mixed with lime and then rubbed on sores and ulcers[
]. A poultice of the hot leaves is applied to relieve body pains[
Patients with malaria and diarrhoeal complications are washed with a hot solution of boiled leaves made up of a mixture of plants including Breynia cernua, in order to induce sweating, thereby reducing malarial symptoms[
An infusion of the bark is used to cure dysentery[
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