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Vascular Plants of California
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Plantago ovata var. fastigiata

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, Diplacus, Erythranthe, Limosella, Lindernia, Mimetanthe, Mimulus, Myoporum, Scrophularia, Verbascum). California Maurandya moved to Holmgrenanthe and Maurandella. Mohavea moved to Antirrhinum. 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 W. 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.
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
Reference: Meyers & Liston 2008 Int J Pl Sci 169:954--962
Species: Plantago ovataView Description 

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 variety 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.
Plantago ovata Forssk. var. fastigiata (Morris) S.C. Meyers & A. Liston
Inflorescence: bract midrib green. Flower: corolla lobes generally without red-brown midrib.
Ecology: Sandy or gravelly areas, creosote-bush scrub, Joshua-tree woodland, sagebrush scrub; Elevation: < 1400 m. Bioregional Distribution: SnJV, CW, SW (exc ChI), SNE, D; Distribution Outside California: to Utah, Texas, Baja California; also Mediterranean. Flowering Time: Jan--Apr
Synonyms: Plantago fastigiata Morris; Plantago insularis Eastw. var. fastigiata (Morris) Jeps.
Jepson eFlora Author: Thomas J. Rosatti
Reference: Meyers & Liston 2008 Int J Pl Sci 169:954--962
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Plantago ovata var. fastigiatabotanical illustration including Plantago ovata var. fastigiata

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Citation for this treatment: Thomas J. Rosatti 2012, Plantago ovata var. fastigiata, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 18, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 18, 2024.

Plantago ovata  
var. fastigiata
click for image enlargement
©2015 Keir Morse
Plantago ovata  
var. fastigiata
click for image enlargement
©2010 Keir Morse
Plantago ovata  
var. fastigiata
click for image enlargement
©2015 Keir Morse
Plantago ovata  
var. fastigiata
click for image enlargement
©2009 Keir Morse
Plantago ovata  
var. fastigiata
click for image enlargement
©2010 Keir Morse

More photos of Plantago ovata var. fastigiata
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Plantago ovata var. fastigiata:
SnJV, CW, SW (exc ChI), SNE, D
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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 occurrence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.

View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month Flowering-Fruiting Monthly Counts

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).