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Pest Information



  • Latin Name: Phyllanthus Niruri
  • Common Name: Niruri
  • Other Names: Gale-of-the-wind, Gripeweed, leaf-flower, little mimosa, cannonball weed

Pest Details



Native to Asia, but present now in the tropical regions of most continents. In the United States it occurs from South Carolina and Florida along the Gulf States to Texas and New Mexico, south throughout Latin America, and in Hawaii and the West Indies.


A summer annual weed that reproduces from seeds. It is a common pest weed in nursery container plantings, in turf, and in most other disturbed habitats. When mature the seed pods tend to open explosively and propel the seeds away from the plant.


Mature plants are small and grow erect on a stiff stem. Numerous branches occur alternate along the stem, with the leaves growing opposite along these branches. Individual leaves are oval, without stalks, and arranged in two neat rows on either side of the branch. The seed pods hang in a single row along the lower surface of the branches and are attached without a stalk. They are very similar to Chamberbitter, but the seed pods of Niruri are green and smooth, compared with the rough, warty surface of Chamberbitter.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

Spurge species of most kinds are controlled in turf with a post-emergent application of a selective broadleaf herbicide, or with an application of a pre-emergent herbicide prior to seed germination. In non-turf settings a non-selective post-emergent herbicide is effective. Hand removal of individual plants, prior to seed maturation, can be effective as well.

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