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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Malpighiales

Familia: Phyllanthaceae
Subfamilia: Phyllanthoideae
Tribus: Phyllantheae
Genus: Breynia
Species: B. amabilis – B. amoebiflora – B. androgyna – B. assimilis – B. asteranthos – B. asymmetrica – B. baudouinii – B. beillei – B. bicolor – B. bishnupadae – B. bonii – B. brevipes – B. calcarea – B. carnosa – B. cernua – B. collaris – B. coriacea – B. coronata – B. delavayi – B. discigera – B. discocalyx – B. disticha – B. diversifolia – B. fleuryi – B. fruticosa – B. garrettii – B. glauca – B. gour-maitii – B. grandiflora – B. granulosa – B. gynophora – B. harmandii – B. heteroblasta – B. heyneana – B. hirsuta – B. indosinensis – B. kerrii – B. kitanovii – B. lanceolata – B. lithophila – B. macrantha – B. maichauensis – B. massiei – B. micrasterias – B. microphylla – B. mollis – B. oblongifolia – B. obscura – B. officinalis – B. orbicularis – B. pierrei – B. platycalyx – B. po-khantii – B. podocarpa – B. poilanei – B. poomae – B. pubescens – B. pulchella – B. quadrangularis – B. racemosa – B. repanda – B. repens – B. reticulata – B. retusa – B. rhynchocarpa – B. rigida – B. rostrata – B. saksenana – B. septata – B. shawii – B. similis – B. spatulifolia – B. stipitata – B. subangustifolia – B. suberosa – B. subindochinensis – B. subterblanca – B. temii – B. thoii – B. thorelii – B. thyrsiflora – B. tiepii – B. tonkinensis – B. trinervia – B. tsiangii – B. vestita – B. villosa – B. virgata – B. vitis-idaea – B. yanhuiana


Breynia J.R.Forst. & G.Forst., Char. Gen. Pl., ed. 2. 145. (1776) nom. cons.

Type species: Breynia disticha J.R. Forst. & G. Forst., Char. Gen. Pl., ed. 2. 145. (1776)


Foersteria Scop., Intr. Hist. Nat.: 98 (1777)
Forsteria Steud., Nomencl. Bot. 1: 344 (1821)
Melanthesa Blume, Bijdr. Fl. Ned. Ind.: 590 (1826)
Sauropus Blume, Bijdr. Fl. Ned. Ind.: 595 (1826)
Ceratogynum Wight, Icon. Pl. Ind. Orient. 5(2): 26 (1852)
Diplomorpha Griff., Not. Pl. Asiat. 4: 479 (1854)
Melanthesopsis Müll.Arg., Linnaea 32: 74 (1863)
Aalius Rumph. ex Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 590 (1891), nom. superfl.
Breyniopsis Beille, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 72: 157 (1925)
Heterocalymnantha Domin, Biblioth. Bot. 22(89): 313 (1927)

Note: Excluded from Phyllanthus s.l. by Van Welzen et al. (2014).

Forster, J.R. & Forster J.G.A. 1776. Characteres Generum Plantarum Edn. 2: 145,
Chakrabarty, T. & Balakrishnan, N.P. 2012. Nineteen new combinations and a new name in Breynia JR Forst. & G. Forst. (Phyllanthaceae) from Indian subcontinent. Bangladesh Journal of Plant Taxonomy 19(2): 119-122. DOI: 10.3329/bjpt.v19i2.13125 PDF Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Breynia in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 July 2. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2018. Breynia (Phyllanthaceae). Published online. Accessed: 26 February 2018.
Tropicos.org 2017. Breynia (Phyllanthaceae). Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 04 February 2017.
Van Welzen, P.C., Pruesapan, K., Telford, I.R.H., Esser, H.J. & Bruhl, J.J. 2014. Phylogenetic reconstruction prompts taxonomic changes in Sauropus, Synostemon and Breynia (Phyllanthaceae tribe Phyllantheae). Blumea-Biodiversity, Evolution and Biogeography of Plants 59(2): 77-94. DOI: 10.3767/000651914X684484 Open access Reference page.

Vernacular names
suomi: Hiutalepensaat

Breynia is a plant genus in the family Phyllanthaceae, first described in 1776. It is native to Southeast Asia, China, the Indian Subcontinent, Papuasia, Australia, and the island of Réunion.[1]

The name Breynia is a conserved name, it is recognized despite the existence of an earlier use of the same name to refer to a different plant. Breynia L. 1753 is in the Capparaceae, but it is a rejected name. We here discuss Breynia J.R.Forst. & G.Forst. 1776.[2]

In a 2006 revision of the Phyllanthaceae, it was recommended that Breynia be subsumed in Phyllanthus; however, new combinations in Phyllanthus for former Breynia species remain to be published.[3]

Breynia are of special note in the fields of pollination biology and coevolution because they have a specialized mutualism with moths in the genus Epicephala (leafflower moths), in which the moths actively pollinate the flowers—thereby ensuring that the tree may produce viable seeds—but also lay eggs in the flowers' ovaries or in the space between the tepals and the carpel walls, from where their larvae consume a subset of the developing seeds as nourishment.[4][5] Other species of Epicephala are pollinators, and in some cases, non-pollinating seed predators, of certain species of plants in the genera Phyllanthus[6][7] and Glochidion,[8][9][10] both closely related to Breynia.[11] This relationship is similar to those between figs and fig wasps and yuccas and yucca moths.


Breynia baudouinii Beille – Vietnam
Breynia calcarea (M.R.Hend.) Welzen & Pruesapan – W Malaysia
Breynia carnosa Welzen & Pruesapan – Vietnam
Breynia cernua (Poir.) Müll.Arg. – Northern Territory of Australia, New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Sulawesi, Philippines, Borneo, Java
Breynia collaris Airy Shaw – Papua New Guinea
Breynia coriacea Beille – Vietnam
Breynia coronata Hook.f. – Thailand, W Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra
Breynia discigera Müll.Arg. – Thailand, W Malaysia, Sumatra
Breynia disticha J.R.Forst. & G.Forst. – Vanuatu, New Caledonia; naturalized in West Indies, Florida, Gambia, and scattered oceanic islands
Breynia diversifolia Beille – Vietnam
Breynia fleuryi Beille – Vietnam
Breynia fruticosa (L.) Müll.Arg. – Vietnam, Thailand, S China
Breynia glauca Craib – Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Borneo
Breynia grandiflora Beille – Vietnam
Breynia heyneana J.J.Sm. – Lesser Sunda Islands in Indonesia
Breynia indosinensis Beille – Vietnam, Laos
Breynia lithophila Welzen & Pruesapan – Thailand
Breynia massiei Beille – Laos
Breynia microphylla (Kurz ex Teijsm. & Binn.) Müll.Arg. – Sumatera, Java, Sulawesi
Breynia mollis J.J.Sm. – New Guinea
Breynia oblongifolia (Müll.Arg.) Müll.Arg. – Papua New Guinea, Queensland, New South Wales, Northern Territory
Breynia obscura Welzen & Pruesapan – W Malaysia
Breynia platycalyx Airy Shaw – W New Guinea
Breynia podocarpa Airy Shaw – Papua New Guinea, Northern Territory
Breynia pubescens Merr. – Maluku
Breynia racemosa (Blume) Müll.Arg. – Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Thailand, Myanmar, W Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Lesser Sunda Islands, Philippines, New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago
Breynia repens Welzen & Pruesapan – Thailand
Breynia retusa (Dennst.) Alston – Réunion, India, Tibet, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, E Himalayas, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, W Malaysia
Breynia rhynchocarpa Benth. – Northern Territory of Australia
Breynia rostrata Merr. – Vietnam, S China
Breynia septata Beille – Vietnam
Breynia stipitata Müll.Arg. – Northern Territory, Queensland
Breynia subangustifolia Thin – Vietnam
Breynia subindochinensis Thin – Vietnam
Breynia tonkinensis Beille – Vietnam
Breynia vestita Warb. – New Guinea, Kai Island in Maluku Province of Indonesia
Breynia virgata (Blume) Müll.Arg. – Sumatra, Java, Lesser Sunda Islands
Breynia vitis-idaea (Burm.f.) C.E.C.Fisch. – China, Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, Indochina, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, W Malaysia, Sumatra, Philippines

Formerly included

Breynia subterblanca (C.E.C.Fisch.) C.E.C.Fisch, synonym of Sauropus subterblancus (C.E.C.Fisch.) Welzen[12]

"World Checklist of Selected Plant Species".
Govaerts, R., Frodin, D.G. & Radcliffe-Smith, A. (2000). World Checklist and Bibliography of Euphorbiaceae (and Pandaceae) 1-4: 1-1622. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Hoffmann, Petra; Kathriarachchi, Hashendra S.; Wurdack, Kenneth J. (2006). "A Phylogenetic Classification of Phyllanthaceae". Kew Bulletin. 61 (1): 37–53.
Kawakita, A.; Kato, M. 2004. Obligate pollination mutualism in Breynia (Phyllanthaceae): further documentation of pollination mutualism involving Epicephala moths (Gracillariidae). American Journal of Botany. 91: 1319–1325.
Zhang, J.; Wang, S.; Li, H.; Hu, B.; Yang, X.; Wang, Z. 2012. "Diffuse coevolution between two Epicephala species (Gracillariidae) and two Breynia species (Phyllanthaceae). PLOS ONE. 7: e41657.
Kawakita, A.; Kato, M. 2004. "Evolution of obligate pollination mutualism in New Caledonian Phyllanthus (Euphorbiaceae)." American Journal of Botany 91: 410–415.
Kawakita, A.; Kato, M. 2009. "Repeated independent evolution of obligate pollination mutualism in the Phyllantheae-Epicephala association." Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 276: 417–426.
Kato, M.; Takimura, A.; Kawakita, A. (2003) "An obligate pollination mutualism and reciprocal diversification in the tree genus Glochidion (Euphorbiaceae)." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. 100 (9): 5264–5267
Hembry, D. H.; Okamoto, T.; Gillespie, R. G. (2012) Repeated colonization of remote islands by specialized mutualists. Biology Letters. 8: 258–261.
Luo, S.-X.; Yao, G.; Wang, Z.; Zhang, D.; Hembry, D. H. (2017) "A novel, enigmatic basal leafflower moth lineage pollinating a derived leafflower host illustrates the dynamics of host shifts, partner replacement, and apparent co-adaptation in intimate mutualisms." The American Naturalist. 189: 422–435.
Kathriarachchi, H.; Samuel, R.; Hoffmann, P.; Mlinarec, J.; Wurdack, K. J.; Ralimanana, H.; Stuessy, T. F.; Chase, M. W. 2006. "Phylogenetics of tribe Phyllantheae (Phyllanthaceae: Euphorbiaceae sensu lato) based on nrITS and plastid matK DNA sequence data." American Journal of Botany. 93: 637–655.
Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Breynia subterblanca

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