Jepson eFlora
Key to families | Table of families and genera

Key to Plantago

View taxon page for Plantago

Jepson Manual glossary definitions can be seen by moving your cursor over words underlined with dots.

1. Leaves cauline; inflorescence axillary, spikes generally in cyme-like clusters at peduncle tip ..... P. arenaria

1' Leaves in basal rosette; inflorescence scapose, with 1 terminal spike

2. Corolla tube hairy; inner side of seed perpendicular to plane between cotyledons (subg. Coronopus)

3. Leaf deeply pinnately lobed; calyx pressed against inflorescence axis (except on re-hydrated material); adaxial sepals each with 1 wide keel or wing on midrib ..... P. coronopus

3' Leaf entire to sparsely dentate; calyx not pressed against inflorescence axis; adaxial sepals each with 0 or 1 narrow keel or wing on midrib ..... P. maritima

2' Corolla tube glabrous; inner side of seed perpendicular to plane between cotyledons to not

4. Seeds (1)2, inner side deep-concave (concavity generally ? 1/2 thickness of seed), perpendicular to plane between cotyledons (subg. Psyllium)

5. Peduncle grooved; abaxial sepals united > 1/2 from base, scarious parts united; green bract midrib not reaching tip ..... P. lanceolata

5' Peduncle not grooved; abaxial sepals united at base, scarious parts free; green bract midrib generally reaching tip

6. Hairs on peduncle generally ± spreading (ascending), each in diam generally << to = 2 × those on leaves ..... P. ovata

7. Corolla lobes generally without red-brown midrib; bract midrib green ..... var. fastigiata

7' Corolla lobes generally with prominent red-brown midrib; bract midrib brown ..... var. insularis

6' Hairs on peduncle nearly always ascending, each in diam ± 2 × those on leaves

8. Bract ovate to round, generally <= calyx, not exserted ..... P. erecta

8' Bract linear, 1–12 × calyx, some or all exserted

9. Bract generally 3–12 × calyx; corolla lobes generally obtuse; plant drying dark green, hairs 0 to ± present ..... P. aristata

9' Bract generally 1–2.5 × calyx; corolla lobes ± acute; plant drying light green, hairs ± dense ..... P. patagonica

4' Seeds 1–many, inner side flat, rarely convex or concave (concavity ? 1/2 thickness of seed), parallel to plane between cotyledons if seeds 1–2, parallel to oblique to perpendicular if seeds > 2 (subg. Plantago)

10. Perennial herb (rarely annual in Plantago major)

11. Leaf widely elliptic to ± cordate, narrowed abruptly to petiole; flower bisexual; corolla lobes spreading to reflexed, ± 0.5 mm; plant with many fibrous roots ..... P. major

11' Leaf oblanceolate to narrowly elliptic-ovate, tapered to wide petiole; flower unisexual or bisexual; corolla lobes spreading, ± 1 mm, or generally erect in pistillate flowers, spreading in staminate, ± 3 mm; plant with 1–2 taproots or many fibrous roots

12. Plant with 1–2 taproots; flower bisexual; corolla lobes spreading, ± 1 mm ..... P. eriopoda

12' Plant with many fibrous roots; flower unisexual; corolla lobes generally erect in pistillate flowers, spreading in staminate, ± 3 mm ..... P. subnuda

10' Annual, biennial

13. Leaf widely oblanceolate to obovate or elliptic, tapered to petiole, entire to ± toothed

14. Abaxial sepals 2.7–3.6 mm, acuminate to mucronate; seeds 2.5–3 mm, generally red to red-brown, with concavity on inner side < 1/2 thickness of seed ..... P. rhodosperma

14' Abaxial sepals 1.5–2.4 mm, obtuse; seeds 1.5–2 mm, pale brown, with concavity on inner side ± 1/2 thickness of seed ..... P. virginica

13' Leaf thread-like to narrowly oblanceolate, tapered to base, generally entire

15. Leaf narrowly oblanceolate; corolla lobes ± 2–3 mm; inflorescence axis generally not visible between flowers; flowers unisexual, stamens 0 or 4 ..... P. truncata subsp. firma

15' Leaf thread-like to linear; corolla lobes ± 0.5 mm; inflorescence axis generally at least partially visible between flowers; flowers bisexual, stamens 2

16. Corolla lobes generally 1 erect, 3 spreading or reflexed; seeds (3)4–9(12) per fruit, 1.5–2.5 mm; California Floristic Province (except High Cascade Range, s Sierra Nevada Foothills, High Sierra Nevada, Tehachapi Mountain Area) ..... P. elongata

16' Corolla lobes generally erect; seeds 4 per fruit, 0.7–1.8 mm; San Joaquin Valley, South Coast (San Diego Co.) ..... P. pusilla


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
We encourage links to these pages, but the content may not be downloaded for reposting, repackaging, redistributing, or sale in any form, without written permission from The Jepson Herbarium.