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Plantago lanceolata

Higher Taxonomy
Family: PlantaginaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to shrub, some aquatic. Leaf: basal or cauline, alternate or opposite (whorled), simple, entire to dentate or lobed, venation generally pinnate; stipules 0. Inflorescence: raceme, spike, or flowers axillary in 1--few-flowered clusters; flowers few to many, each subtended by 1 bract. Flower: unisexual or bisexual, radial or bilateral; sepals 4--5, generally fused at base; corolla 4--5-lobed, scarious or not, persistent or not, generally 2-lipped, upper lip generally 2-lobed, lower generally 3-lobed, spur present or not, tube sac-like at base or not; stamens 2 or 4, alternate corolla lobes, epipetalous, staminode 0 or 1--2, anthers opening by 2 slits; ovary superior, [1]2--4-chambered, style 1, stigma lobes 0 or 2. Fruit: generally a capsule, septicidal, loculicidal, circumscissile, or dehiscing by terminal slits or pores.
Genera In Family: 110 genera, +- 2000 species: worldwide, especially temperate. Note: Veronicaceae sensu Olmstead et al. Recently treated to include Callitrichaceae, Hippuridaceae, and most non-parasitic California genera of Scrophulariaceae (except Buddleja, Limosella, Mimulus, Myoporum, Scrophularia, Verbascum). California Maurandya moved to Holmgrenanthe and Maurandella. Limnophila ×ludoviciana Thieret an occasional agricultural weed in rice fields. Hebe ×franciscana (Eastw.) Souster, Hebe speciosa (R. Cunn.) Andersen only cultivated.
eFlora Treatment Author: Margriet Wetherwax, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Robert Patterson, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: PlantagoView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: PLANTAIN
Habit: Annual to perennial herb, generally scapose. Stem: decumbent to erect. Leaf: generally basal, veins generally +- parallel. Inflorescence: spike, generally dense; flowers few to many, cleistogamous or opening (both). Flower: generally bisexual; calyx deeply 4-lobed, lobes generally overlapped, persistent, margin generally scarious; corolla radial or bilateral, salverform or cylindric, scarious, persistent in fruit, colorless except for lobe midribs or not, lobes 4, spreading to erect; stamens generally 4; ovules several per chamber, stigma long, hairy. Fruit: circumscissile +- at or proximal to middle. Seed: 2--many, gelatinous when wetted.
Species In Genus: +- 250 species: worldwide, especially temperate; some weedy, some (especially Plantago afra L., psyllium) cultivated for laxative. Etymology: (Latin: sole of foot) Note: Plantago sempervirens Crantz, Plantago heterophylla Nutt., reported but not documented, possibly naturalized in California.
Unabridged Note: 2 species reported but not documented for California: Plantago sempervirens Crantz, native to southern Europe, Turkey, differs from Plantago arenaria in, e.g., habit (dwarf shrub vs annual), corolla tube (4--5 vs 3.5--4 mm), fruit (4--5 vs +- 2 mm); Plantago heterophylla Nutt., native to southeastern North America, differs from Plantago elongata in, e.g., seed number, size [10--25(30), 0.5--0.8 mm vs (3)4--9(12), 1.5--2.5 mm], corolla lobe orientation (generally spreading vs generally 1 erect, 3 spreading or reflexed).
eFlora Treatment Author: Thomas J. Rosatti

Plantago lanceolata L.
Habit: Perennial herb, caudex stout, taprooted; hairs short. Leaf: 5--25 cm, lanceolate to lance-oblong, tapered to petiole, generally finely dentate. Inflorescence: few to many, 20--80 cm including peduncle; spike 2--8 cm, +- ovoid, in age cylindric; peduncle grooved; bract not exserted, +- = calyx, widely ovate, acute, green midrib not reaching tip. Flower: abaxial sepals united > 1/2 from base, scarious parts united; corolla lobes spreading, 2--2.5 mm, ovate, +- acute. Seed: 1--2, +- 3 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=12,24,96.
Ecology: Common. Disturbed areas; Elevation: < 1600 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA-FP; Distribution Outside California: native to Europe. Flowering Time: Apr--Aug
eFlora Treatment Author: Thomas J. Rosatti
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Weed listed by Cal-IPC

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botanical illustration including Plantago lanceolata


Citation for this treatment: Thomas J. Rosatti 2016. Plantago lanceolata, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 28, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 28, 2016.

Plantago lanceolata
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© 2009 Barry Breckling
Plantago lanceolata
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© 2009 Barry Breckling
Plantago lanceolata
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Plantago lanceolata
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© 2008 Steve Matson
Plantago lanceolata
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Plantago lanceolata var. lanceolata
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© 2004 Steve Matson

More photos of Plantago lanceolata in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Plantago lanceolata:
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.