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

Plantago eriopoda Torr.
alkali plantain (redwool plantain; saline plantain)
Plantaginaceae (Mare's-tail family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #3443)

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Distribution of Plantago eriopoda
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from woolly-hairy, woody stem-base and taproot; stems erect, numerous, simple, smooth except above, 10-55 cm tall.
Basal leaves elliptic to oblong, 5-25 cm long, 0.6-4 cm wide, 3- to 5-veined, entire, stalked; stem leaves lacking.
Inflorescence of dense to loose bracteate spikes, the spikes elongate, 5-20 cm long; corollas brown, 4-lobed, the lobes 1-1.5 mm long, spreading or reflexed; bracts egg-shaped to elliptic, appressed to the sepals; stamens inconspicuous.
Capsules, egg-shaped, 3-4 mm long; seeds 2-4, ellipsoid, brown to black, 2-2.5 mm long, smooth to pitted.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Wet to moist alkaline meadows and salt marshes in the montane zone; rare in NW and SE BC; N to YT and NT, E to PQ and S to NB, CO, CA and MX.

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.


Ecological Framework for Plantago eriopoda

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 695 932 1170
Slope Gradient (%) 0 0 0
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
360 360 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 4 6
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BWBS(1)


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 shastensis Greene

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References