Plantago lanceolata L.

English Plantain
Plantaginaceae (Plantain Family)


English plantain is an introduced somewhat short-villous perennial growing to 32" from a stout, taprooted caudex with basal leaves that are lanceolate to lance-oblong, erect to spreading, parallel-veined, up to 8" long, and attenuate at the apex.  The numerous flowers are clustered at the ends of slender, arched-ascending scapes on dense spikes that are ovoid-conic becoming cylindric and 3/4" to 3" long.  There are 4 fused sepals, 4 fused petals, 4 well-exserted stamens and 2 fused carpels united into a single pistil. The fruit is an oblong-ovoid capsule, dehiscing below the middle, and containing 1-2 shining brown seeds.  English plantain, not surprisingly, was introduced from Europe, and is a common weed in lawns and disturbed and moist places to an elevation of 4000' or 5000', blooming from April to August.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Plantago 2) lanceolata.
Pronunciation: plan-TAY-go lan-see-o-LAY-ta.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.


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