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, 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.
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
Habit: Annual; hairs +- dense, silky. Leaf: 2--17 cm, linear (oblong), entire or teeth few, minute. Inflorescence: few--many, generally 2--27 cm including peduncle; spike 0.5--3.5 cm, generally short-cylindric, woolly; peduncle not grooved, hairs generally +- spreading (ascending), each in diam generally << to = 2 × those on leaves; bract not exserted, +- = calyx, ovate to round, green midrib generally reaching tip. Flower: abaxial sepals united at base, scarious parts free; corolla lobes spreading, 1.3--2.8 mm, round-ovate, obtuse. Seed: 2, 2--2.5 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=8.
Note: Herbarium specimens generally not assignable to var. in California because midrib color on bracts, petals not reliable.
Unabridged Note: Meyers & Liston recognized 4 varieties, 2 in North America, based on phylogenetic analysis of chloroplast, ITS sequences, and consider plants in California native based on molecular dating; color of bract, petal midribs, used to identify varieties in California, generally not determinable on herbarium specimens.