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Plant Database

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Plantago major (Common plantain)
Lytle, Melody

Plantago major

Plantago major L.

Common plantain

Plantaginaceae (Plantain Family)

Synonym(s): Plantago asiatica, Plantago halophila, Plantago major ssp. intermedia, Plantago major var. asiatica, Plantago major var. intermedia, Plantago major var. pachyphylla, Plantago major var. pilgeri, Plantago major var. scopulorum

USDA Symbol: PLMA2

USDA Native Status: L48 (I), AK (I), HI (I), PR (I), VI (I), CAN (I), GL (I), SPM (I)

Small flowers are massed in a narrow, cylindrical, greenish-white spike, rising from a set of broad, strongly ribbed basal leaves.

This broad-leaved Plantain is considered a weed in lawns and gardens. The equally common Pale Plantain (P. rugelii), can usually be distinguished by the purple bases of its leaf stalks. Heart-leaved or Water Plantain (P. cordata) another broad-leaved species, occurs in streams from New York south to North Carolina, west to Alabama and Louisiana, and north to Wisconsin and Ontario. It can be distinguished from other species by its hollow stem.


From the Image Gallery

5 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct


USA: AK , AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , HI , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: NB , NS
Native Distribution: Throughout North America, except parts of far north.
Native Habitat: Waste places, fields, roadsides.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Plantago major in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Plantago major in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Plantago major


Record Modified: 2016-04-29
Research By: TWC Staff

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