Plant ID forum: Chamber Bitter (Phyllanthus urinaria); common Florida weed with caterpillars

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Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
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mellielong
Aug 30, 2015 10:23 AM CST
Removed by OP
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[Last edited by mellielong - Dec 21, 2015 1:16 PM (+)]
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Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
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frostweed
Aug 30, 2015 10:32 AM CST
I think it is Phyllanthus debilis or Phyllanthus tenellus.
I read that those plants came with potted plants from Hawaii, we have them here too.
http://www.google.com/search?q=phyllanthus+debilis+informati...
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Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Horntoad
Aug 30, 2015 10:40 AM CST
I agree with Phyllanthus. My first thought was P. urinaria, but there are 11 species recorded in Florida so you would need to do some research to be sure of the species.
wildflowersoftexas.com
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Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Aug 30, 2015 10:49 AM CST
I agree Commonly called Chamber bitter!
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
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mellielong
Aug 30, 2015 10:55 AM CST
Well, I checked the Florida Atlas of Vascular Plants to see what grew in my area. They don't have P. debilis listed anywhere in the state. I do have P. tenellus and P. urinaria in my area. I looked at the photos and based on the way the seedpods sit on the plant, I tend to think it's P. urinaria. Those seedpods are right against the stem whereas P. tenellus looks like the seedpods have their own little stems that hold them off of the main stem. Now, I have to go do some caterpillar research! Although moths tend to eat a lot of things so I'll probably have to wait until these guys emerge from their cocoon to know what they are. Thanks everyone! ATP is such a great site!
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Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Aug 30, 2015 10:58 AM CST
Yup, that's it! Chamber Bitter (Phyllanthus urinaria)
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Aug 30, 2015 11:35 AM CST
It appears there are two different Phyllanthus in mellielong's photos. One has the seeds hanging down but close to the stem; the other has the seeds jutting out sideways on little stalks. I have the same two in my yard.

I think mine are P. urinaria and P. tenellus ??
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
[Last edited by greene - Aug 30, 2015 12:03 PM (+)]
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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
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Shadegardener
Aug 30, 2015 11:45 AM CST
From both the common name and botanical name, I gather that the plant has a "unique" perfume?
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
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mellielong
Aug 30, 2015 1:23 PM CST
I never noticed a smell when picking or weeding it.
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Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Horntoad
Aug 30, 2015 1:24 PM CST
Me either and I just pulled a bunch earlier today.
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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Aug 30, 2015 3:12 PM CST
The 3rd pic looks like a diff plant to me too. I've also been wondering what it is, seen a few around.
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Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Aug 30, 2015 3:15 PM CST
I looked at the first photo and I think you guys are right. See the plant right under my pink pentas in the upper left. That's the "different" one. It's too hot to go outside right now but I will take more pictures tomorrow of that weed and let you identify it for me, too. Hilarious!
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Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Aug 30, 2015 4:05 PM CST
Never noticed any "aroma" from our "weeds"....which is what they are!
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Aug 30, 2015 4:49 PM CST
If the weeds support caterpillars, I can make a little room for them. Thumbs up
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Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
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Horntoad
Aug 30, 2015 5:47 PM CST
mellielong said:If the weeds support caterpillars, I can make a little room for them. Thumbs up


Do you know what they support?
The only thing I have found is a reference to the White-tipped Black Moth
http://texasento.net/Melanchroia.htm
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Aug 30, 2015 5:55 PM CST
Jay, I brought four caterpillars inside to raise so I can find out for sure. I'll have to remember to post here when they grow up!
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
Image
mellielong
Aug 31, 2015 11:01 AM CST
Folks, as promised, here's the thread for the other plant I mistakenly included: The thread "Mascarene Island Leafflower (Phyllanthus tenellus)" in Plant ID forum
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