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Plantago major
COMMON PLANTAIN

Higher Taxonomy
Family: PlantaginaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: PLANTAIN FAMILY
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 major L.
NATURALIZED
Habit: (Annual) perennial herb, caudex short, roots fibrous; hairs generally 0 except peduncle. Leaf: blade 5--18 cm, widely elliptic to +- cordate, narrowed abruptly to petiole, entire or +- finely dentate. Inflorescence: generally 3--7, 5--60 cm including peduncle; spike generally 3--20 cm, linear-cylindric, in age +- loose; bract not exserted, +- = calyx, ovate. Flower: corolla lobes spreading to reflexed, +- 0.5 mm, lance-ovate. Seed: 5--16, < 1 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=6,12,24.
Ecology: Disturbed areas; Elevation: < 2200 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA-FP (exc SNF, Teh), GB, DMoj (uncommon); Distribution Outside California: to eastern United States; native to Europe. Flowering Time: Apr--Sep Note: Highly variable.
Synonyms: Plantago major var. pilgeri Domin; Plantago major var. scopulorum Fries & S.P. Broberg
eFlora Treatment Author: Thomas J. Rosatti
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Citation for this treatment: Thomas J. Rosatti 2016. Plantago major, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=38570, accessed on May 04, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on May 04, 2016.


Plantago major
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Plantago major
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Plantago major
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© 2009 Barry Breckling
Plantago major
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© 2004 James M. Andre
Plantago major
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© 2009 Barry Breckling
Plantago major
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse

More photos of Plantago major in CalPhotos


Geographic subdivisions for Plantago major:
CA-FP (exc SNF, Teh), GB, DMoj (uncommon);
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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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).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

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