Phyllanthus fluitans

Common Name: floating spurge 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Phyllanthaceae
Native Range: South America
Zone: 9 to 11
Height: 0.00 to 0.25 feet
Spread: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Bloom Time: Rarely flowers
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Wet
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Water Plant, Rain Garden
Flower: Insignificant


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 9-11. In St. Louis, it may be grown in an aquarium or outside as an annual in a small water body. Outdoor plants can be overwintered indoors in an aquarium in good light.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Phyllanthus fluitans is native to swamps and rivers in tropical areas from Mexico to Brazil. It is a free-floating aquatic perennial that grows to 2” tall and spreads to 5” or more. It features creeping stems and rounded, sessile, green leaves that float on the water surface. Leaves may acquire a reddish tinge in intense light. Reddish roots are noticeable. Small unisexual flowers with six white tepals may bloom in optimum conditions.

Genus name comes from the Greek words phyllon meaning "leaf", and anthos meaning "flower", as in some species the flowers are produced on the edges of a leaf-like branch.

Specific epithet means floating.


No known serious insect or disease problems.


Aquarium. Small water body.