Domain: Eukarya

Organisms in the domain Eukarya have eukaryotic cells which are made of membrane-bound organelles and possess a true nucleus.

Kingdom: Plantae

The kingdom Plantae includes organisms that produce their own food through photosynthesis. They also contain a cell wall made of cellulose.

Phylum: Anthrophyta

Organisms in the phylum Anthrophyta are commonly known as the flowering plants, or angiosperms. They produce flowers or fruit, and are characterized by having true leaves, stems, and roots.

Class: Magnoliopsida (Eudicotyledones)

Eudicotyledones possess two cotyledons and have flower parts in 4 or 5’s. The veins of their leaves are usually net like and their roots contain a taproot (main root). Lateral roots then grow off from the taproot.

Order: Euphorbiales

Plants in the order Euphorbiales are characterized by having simple leaves and reduced unisexual flowers.

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Most plants in the Euphorbiaceae family are tropical in dirtrubution. The family is mostly herbs, but contains shrubs and trees as well. Members of this family also have simple alternately arranged leaves.

Genus: Phyllanthus

Plants in the genus Phyllanthus are characterized by having flowers on their leaves.

Species: Phyllanthus niruri

Translated to English, Phyllanthus means “leaf flower,” while niruri translates to “shatter stone” or “break-stone.” This translates to a genus that has flowers on its leaves, and roots that are strong enough to break stone. The name “shatter stone” also comes from the fact that Phyllanthus niruri has long been used in the treatment of kidney stones and gallstones.


Phylogenetic Tree

The phylogenetic tree seen above shows where Phyllanthus niruri fits into the grand scheme of classification. This phylogenetic tree is based on molecular evidence and was modified from the textbook written by Campbell, N.A., Reece, J.B., Urry, L.A., Cain, M.L., Wasserman, S.A., Minorsky, P.V., and Jackson, R.B.

To see a phylogentic tree of Phyllanthus niruri's closest relatives please click here.

Now that we know how Phyllanthus niruri is classified, let's take a look at its habitat.