Annual herb from a well-developed taproot; stems erect, numerous, simple, rough-hairy or sometimes smooth, often woolly at the base, 3-20 cm tall.
Basal leaves linear, tapering towards the base, smooth or sparsely hairy, 2-10 cm long, 0.3-1.5 mm wide, entire; stem leaves lacking.
Inflorescence of dense bracteate spikes, the spikes elongate, 1-10 cm long, smooth; corollas green, 4-lobed, the lobes less than 1 mm long, erect to reflexed, some plants with nonfunctioning stamens while others with reduced or nonfunctioning pistils; bracts broadly egg-shaped, spurred, equal to the sepals, 2 mm long.
Capsules, egg-shaped, 2-3 mm long; seeds 4, or sometimes 5 or 6, elliptic-oblong, 1.3-2 mm long, pitted at maturity.
Specimens of P. bigelovii and P. elongata annotated and cited in Bassett (1973) were not readily distinguishable in the herbaria studied. This was also noted by Cronquist (1984).
If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.
Illustration Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Plantago bigelovii A. Gray
Plantago bigelovii subsp. bigelovii A. Gray
Plantago elongata subsp. pentasperma Bassett
"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.