Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Chamberbitter, Shatterstone, Stone-breaker Herb
Phyllanthus urinaria

Family: Phyllanthaceae
Genus: Phyllanthus (fil-LAN-thus) (Info)
Species: urinaria

4 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Unknown - Tell us

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By TamiMcNally
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By Floridian
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By DebinSC
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By TamiMcNally
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By Dinu
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By Kameha
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By Floridian
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There are a total of 12 photos.
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1 positive
1 neutral
9 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative ErzsebetF On Jan 11, 2015, ErzsebetF from Swansea, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

2015 will be the 5th season this highly invasive weed has been in my backyard. It has taken over an entire section of my lawn around my vegetable garden and is slowly encroaching the vegetable garden as well. I have to pull it up by hand from the garden, and keep an eagle eye out for its emergence.
Clemson extension in South Carolina says to use a 2 or 3 way broadleaf herbicide mix applied twice 30 days apart.
An excellent site I found from the state of Georgia(why is it all the better sites are in Georgia or NC?) is reports that a pre-emergent can be used in Feb. through March; use 2 applications.
This site also reports that pre-emergents that contain atrazine(Purge) or simazine can be applied 2x 30 days apart. Isoxaban is also used, but sources I found on Amazon were prohibitively expensive for this. Also you have to be careful of what kind of grass your lawn is made up of.
I don't know where the Chamber bitter came from, but it will completely take over your lawn and choke out the native plants where it takes root.
Sure, I take hours out of my gardening and lawn chores to pull up sections at a time; this is not effective enough and wastes time for more important gardening chores.
Do not sell this, propogate this puppy or otherwise swap for this invasive. Although it is an asian orginator, I'll bet Monsanto, Seminis, and their cronies are behind this newest invasive to my yard and garden.

Negative Suzronn On Nov 6, 2013, Suzronn from Port Orange, FL wrote:

My Basenji dog greedily ate some chamberbitter in my back yard, and for the next two days he vomited up all his food. Then for three days he pooped yellow seeds. So I investigated and identified chamberbitter. He seems fine now, a few days later. I haven't found any info re the plant's toxicity to dogs; it seems people use the leaves medicinally; I haven't found any info re the seeds. This stuff is everywhere here so if anyone has more info re its effect on dogs who eat it, I would appreciate that.

Negative MarchandBouvier On Jul 19, 2011, MarchandBouvier from Chamblee, GA wrote:

Hideous! Horrible plant! I don't give a happy darn about it's beneficial properties-they are far outweighed by the invasive nature of this evil weed. I've pulled it up for years and tried everything, including weekly doses of roundup (it just laughs at me every time I spray)

I had a nice bed and it took over-choked out enough plants so I had to essentially start over. Tried changing it into turf and the buggers were more prolific than before. THEN I had a tree company dump a full load of wood chips and the little nightmares STILL thrived (3"of hardwood wood chips, mind you)

It's taken over our entire neighborhood. I'm not exaggerating. If this were plant warfare, we wouldn't stand a chance. Come to think about it...DESTROY DESTROY DESTROY!

Negative Ret_Sgt_Yates On Jun 27, 2010, Ret_Sgt_Yates from Sparta , TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have this plant growing on my property it grows on the rail bank and sheds its seeds by the bunches in late May and June they are a Weed to me and you and not get rid of them easy .

Positive marvadna On Aug 29, 2009, marvadna from Bristol, FL wrote:

I don't care how much Chamber Bitter grows on our property. It is an antibiotic, a stone breaker, treats urinary problems and I have a scientific paper that says it is better at curing Hepatitus B than medication. Phyllanthus urinaria can grow all over our 17.5 acers it is wants to.
Mary Kern RN-BSN (renagade nurse because I prefer herbs to medication)

Negative entiel On Jun 25, 2008, entiel from Huffman, TX wrote:

Do not let this plant take a foothold. I got this in a load of topsoil 2 years ago, and it's spread like wildfire. Veg. garden, lawn, and flower bed were infested. I had to kill off my flower bed with roundup and put down pre-emergent herbicide just to keep it suppressed. Solarizing my vegetable garden bed now, don't know the results yet. Lawn is bouncing back through frequent mowing and weed & feed.
My biggest recommendation: If you see it, kill it. DO NOT let it go to seed.

Negative DebinSC On Jul 22, 2007, DebinSC from Georgetown, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

I agree with the previous negative comments. Do not let this get a foot hold. If not pulled before seeds form, it will be everywhere the next season. Not kidding. This will take over a flower bed or veggie bed with what seems like lightning speed. It looks kinda cute when it first comes up, but don't let it fool you. It's definitely in the "thug" category.

Negative altairisfar On May 15, 2007, altairisfar from Mobile, AL wrote:

Phyllanthus urinaria (Known here as chamber bitters) This weed will take over, so if you see only a few get them out of your lawn or garden as fast as possible. If your lawn is St. Augustine grass, you will kill the grass before you kill the weed if using herbicides. Any attempts to pull it up once it is more than a few inches high will cause seeds to fall from the underside of the leaves, in addition to it taking the top inch or two of topsoil with it. I've been doing battle with pest for years. Dandelions and crabgrass seem benign by comparison.

Neutral grodematers On Sep 20, 2006, grodematers from Tallahassee, FL wrote:

Chamberbitter is used for curing blennorrhagia, diabetes, dysentery, flu, tumors, jaundice, vaginitis, against headache, fever, conjungtivitis, menstrual disorders and dyspepsia. It is used against colic, as an effective remedy to eliminate gall and kidney stones. It is also used for urinary tract infection, bladder inflammation and for other kidney and liver problems. This info was gathered off of the web. Search for chamberbitter which is another name for it. Pretty invasive if you ask me. I have tons of it. Burning it early does a pretty good job of stopping it for a little while. Good luck.

Negative FLStu On Aug 6, 2006, FLStu from Lowell, IN (Zone 5b) wrote:

I can't think of anyone wanting to plant this purposely. It's been comming up all over my property. It's almost like a tribble........born pregnant. It's resistant to RoundUp.

Negative Kameha On Aug 28, 2005, Kameha from Kissimmee, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This weed is like a disease!!! It spreads and spreads and you can't get rid of it! In just a couple months it has spread through my vegetable garden, my butterfly garden, and all through my flower borders along the sidewalks. When you go to pull it up, it takes about a pound of soil per plant and whatever root fragments are left in the soil regenerate at least 3 more plants to replace the old one. This is probably the worst weed I have encountered in my life and I recommend to anyone, DO NOT PLANT THIS. Also I'm assuming it is poisonous, because it is a member of the euphorbiacea family.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Mobile, Alabama
Barling, Arkansas
Bristol, Florida
Brooksville, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)
Kissimmee, Florida
Lutz, Florida
Palmetto, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Plant City, Florida
Port Orange, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Spring Hill, Florida
Tallahassee, Florida
Conway, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Swansea, South Carolina
Sparta, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Huffman, Texas
Spring, Texas

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