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

Plantago psyllium L.
whorled plantain (sand plantain)
Plantaginaceae (Mare's-tail family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Plantago psyllium
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Species Information

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General:
Annual or short-lived perennial herb from well-developed taproot; stems erect, solitary, freely branched, hairy, 10-50 cm tall.
Leaves:
Basal leaves linear, soon deciduous; stem leaves linear or linear-lanceolate, opposite, stiff-hairy, entire or occasionally slightly toothed, 2-8 cm long, 1-3 mm wide, with several smaller, linear, axillary leaves at each internode.
Flowers:
Inflorescence of dense bracteate, axillary spikes 0.5-1.5 cm long on stalks 2-8 cm long; corollas 4-lobed, the lobes egg-shaped, reflexed, 1.5-2 mm long; bracts wide, rounded, papery-margined, lowermost leaf-like; stamens conspicuous.
Fruits:
Capsules, broadly-ellipsoid, 3-3.5 mm long; seeds 2, narrowly elliptic, shiny, brown, 2.0-2.5 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry roadsides and waste places in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; rare in S BC; 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).

References

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

Climate

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 arenaria Waldst. & Kit.
Plantago indica L.
Plantago scabra Moench

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References