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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Annual or short-lived perennial herb from well-developed taproot; stems erect, solitary, freely branched, hairy, 10-50 cm tall.
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.
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.
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


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