Phyllanthus Species, Chamber Bitter, Leafflower, Shatterstone, Stone-Breaker Herb

Phyllanthus urinaria

Family: Phyllanthaceae
Genus: Phyllanthus (fil-LAN-thus) (Info)
Species: urinaria
Synonym:Diasperus urinaria
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:



12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


Unknown - Tell us


Not Applicable

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

White/Near White


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

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:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Mobile, Alabama

Barling, Arkansas

Bristol, Florida

Brooksville, Florida

Cocoa, Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida(2 reports)

Kissimmee, Florida

Lutz, Florida

Ocala, Florida

Palmetto, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Plant City, Florida

Port Orange, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Spring Hill, Florida

Tallahassee, Florida

Lafayette, Louisiana

Saucier, Mississippi

Conway, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Swansea, South Carolina

Sparta, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Hempstead, Texas

Huffman, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Spring, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 20, 2019, mdfox from San Antonio, TX wrote:

I have been regularly pulling this weed for years. It grows in between the bricks on my patio and in the adjacent flowerbeds in Texas. I do not recommend planting this highly invasive, nuisance plant.


On Aug 16, 2016, Lawnscapes850 from Pensacola, FL wrote:

I guess if you use it as a food,grow the hell out if it. But it is a voracious weed that wears it's seeds on its leaves. Virtually impossible to get rid of 100%. Atrizine works but be careful when you dilute it and follow the instructions. This plant thrives around irresponsible lawn guys who spread the weed around with their mowers. If it is in one spot in your yard it will be in several the following year.


On Nov 18, 2015, Craig_R_Jackson from Cypress, TX wrote:

Highly invasive. Get rid of it anyway you can, by pulling it or eating it.


On Sep 27, 2015, alfu from Gainesville, FL wrote:

This thing is highly invasive in my yard, but I suspect that since the fronds are so heavy with seeds it might be a good emergency nutrient. I have been eating a fair amount (as a green in cheese sandwitches) for a few weeks now and have not noticed any adverse effect.

If it is in fact a food, at least it is easy to grow!


On Aug 22, 2015, sunny126 from Ocala, FL wrote:

Very valuable medicial herb


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 ... read more


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.


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!


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 .


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)


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.


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.


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.


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.


On Aug 6, 2006, FLStu from Effingham, SC (Zone 8a) 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.


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.