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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Phyllanthaceae
Tribe: Poranthereae
Genus: Leptopus
Decaisne 1836 not Klotzsch & Garcke 1860 (syn of Euphorbia)
Type species
Leptopus cordifolius
  • Andrachne (Endlicher) Pojarkova
  • Chorisandrachne Airy Shaw
  • Thelypetalum Gagnep.
  • Arachne (Endl.) Pojark.
  • Archileptopus P.T.Li
  • Andrachne [unranked] Arachne Endlicher

Leptopus, the maidenbushes, are a group of plants in the flowering plant family Phyllanthaceae first described as a genus in 1836.[3][4] As presently constituted, is native to southern Asia from the Caucasus east to China and Maluku.[1][2]

Leptopus is one of eight genera in the tribe Poranthereae [5] and comprises 9 species.[6] It is the sister of Actephila. The type species is Leptopus cordifolius.[7] The name is derived from two Greek words, leptos, "thin, slender, or small", and pous, "foot", a reference to slender pedicels.[8]

Leptopus consists of monoecious herbs and shrubs with simple, entire leaves and small, green flowers. The genus was revised in 2009.[9]

Leptopus fangdingianus had been placed by some authors in a separate genus, Archileptopus, but it was shown in 2007 that recognition of Archileptopus makes Leptopus paraphyletic.[10] Phyllanthopsis phyllanthoides has been placed in Leptopus as well as in Andrachne. In 2007, it was shown to not properly belong to either genus and in 2008 was assigned to a new genus, Phyllanthopsis.[6]

formerly included[1]

moved to other genera: Chorisandrachne Euphorbia Notoleptopus Phyllanthopsis

  1. L. adiantoides - Euphorbia adiantoides
  2. L. brasiliensis - Euphorbia hyssopifolia
  3. L. decaisnei - Notoleptopus decaisnei
  4. L. diplospermus - Chorisandrachne diplosperma
  5. L. dominianus - Notoleptopus decaisnei
  6. L. hartwegii - Euphorbia adiantoides
  7. L. ocymoides - Euphorbia ocymoidea
  8. L. orbicularis - Notoleptopus decaisnei
  9. L. phyllanthoides - Phyllanthopsis phyllanthoides
  10. L. poeppigii - Euphorbia poeppigii
  11. L. segoviensis - Euphorbia segoviensis


  1. ^ a b c d Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ a b Flora of China Vol. 11 Page 169 雀舌木属 que she mu shu Leptopus Decaisne in Jacquemont, Voy. Inde. 4(Bot.): 155. 1835.
  3. ^ Decaisne, Joseph. 1836. in Jacquemont, Venceslas Victor, Voyage dans l'Inde 4: 155, pl. 156 in Latin
  4. ^ Tropicos, Leptopus Decne.
  5. ^ Petra Hoffmann, Hashendra S. Kathriarachchi, and Kenneth J. Wurdack. 2006. "A Phylogenetic Classification of Phyllanthaceae." Kew Bulletin 61(1):37-53.
  6. ^ a b Maria S. Vorontsova and Petra Hoffmann. 2008. "A phylogenetic classification of tribe Poranthereae (Phyllanthaceae)." Kew Bulletin 63(1):41-59.
  7. ^ Leptopus In: Index Nominum Genericorum. In: Regnum Vegetabile (see External links below).
  8. ^ Umberto Quattrocchi. 2000. CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names volume II. CRC Press: Boca Raton; New York; Washington,DC;, USA. London, UK. ISBN 978-0-8493-2676-9.
  9. ^ Maria S. Vorontsova and Petra Hoffmann. 2009. "Revision of the genus Leptopus (Phyllanthaceae, Euphorbiaceae sensu lato)". Kew Bulletin 64(4):627-644.
  10. ^ Maria S. Vorontsova, Petra Hoffmann, Olivier Maurin, and Mark W. Chase. 2007. "Phylogenetics of tribe Poranthereae (Phyllanthaceae)." American Journal of Botany 94(12):2026-2040.

External links[edit]