E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Plantago coronopus L.
buck's-horn plantain (buckhorn plantain)
Plantaginaceae (Mare's-tail family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Frank Lomer  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #29227)

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Distribution of Plantago coronopus
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Species Information

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Annual or biennial herb from a taproot; stems erect, several, simple, coarsely hairy, 5-30 cm tall.
Basal leaves narrowly lanceolate, pinnately lobed or deeply dissected, 4-15 cm long, tapered to the base, the lobes ascending, sharp-pointed; stem leaves lacking.
Inflorescence of dense bracteate spikes, the spikes elongate, 2-22 cm long; corollas green-brown, 4-lobed, 3 lobes about 1 mm long, spreading and 1 erect, all narrowly egg-shaped; bracts equal to or twice as long as the sepals, round at the base, long pointed at the tips; stamens conspicuous.
Capsules, broadly egg-shaped, 2-3 mm long; seeds usually 3, the larger one about 1.5 mm long and sometimes partly winged, the smaller ones less than 1 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist gravelly or sandy coastal sites in the lowland zone; rare on SE Vancouver Island; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Additional Notes

"The family Plantaginaceae includes three genera and an estimated 250-275 species from diverse habitats throughout the world (Pilger 1937). In Canada, the family is represented by two genera containing seven introduced species and ten native species (Bassett 1973).


Bassett, I. John. 1973. The Plantains of Canada. Monograph No. 7. Canada Department of Agriculture.


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Plantago coronopus subsp. commutata (Guss.) Pilg.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References