Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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PLANTAGINACEAE

PLANTAIN FAMILY

Lauramay T. Dempster

Annual, perennial herb, generally scapose
Leaves generally basal, simple, with longitudinal ribs; stipules 0
Inflorescence: spike, generally terminal, generally dense; flowers few–many, each subtended by 1 bract
Flower unisexual or bisexual, generally radial; calyx deeply 4-lobed, lobes generally overlapping, persistent, margin mostly scarious; corolla salverform or cylindric, lobes 4, spreading to erect, scarious, persistent, colorless; stamens 2–4, alternate corolla lobes, epipetalous; ovary superior, 2–4-chambered, ovules several per chamber, style 1, stigma long, hairy
Genera in family: 3 genera, ± 270 species: worldwide, especially temp; some weedy, some (especially P. afra , psyllium) cultivated for laxative
Recent taxonomic note: Recently treated to include Callitrichaceae, and most non-parasitic CA genera of Scrophulariaceae (but not Mimulus, Scrophularia, Verbascum); = Veronicaceae sensu Olmstead et al. [Angiosperm Phylogeny Group 1998 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 85:531–553; Olmstead et al. 2001 Mol Phylog Evol 16:96–112]

PLANTAGO

PLANTAIN

Annual, perennial herb
Stem decumbent to erect
Flower generally bisexual; corolla radial, sometimes bilateral
Fruit: capsule, circumscissile ± at or below middle
Seeds 2–many, gelatinous when wet
Species in genus: ± 250 species: worldwide
Etymology: (Latin: sole of foot)

Introduced

P. indica L.

Annual, ± coarsely hairy
Stem 2–6 cm, branched, leafy
Leaves cauline, opposite (appearing clustered at nodes), 2–4.5 cm, thread-like or linear; margin entire
Inflorescences axillary; spikes generally in terminal, cyme-like clusters, 1–2 cm, round to elliptic in outline, dense; peduncle 3–7 cm; lower bracts > flowers, tips long, slender; upper bracts generally = sepals, round-ovate, obtuse, enclosing flowers
Flower: corolla lobes ± 2 mm, spreading, narrowly ovate; stamens 4
Seeds 2, 2.5 mm
Ecology: Sandy waste places
Elevation: < 200 m.
Bioregional distribution: Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast
Distribution outside California: native to Eurasia
Often used for bird seed and poultry feed.

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bioregional map for PLANTAGO%20indica being generated
 
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Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Plantago indica
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