Page author: David Giblin
Plantago arenaria
sand plantain

Distribution: Scattered locations west of the Cascades in Washington; British Columbia south to California; upper central and eastern North America.

Habitat: A weed of waste places, sandy areas, roadsides, and along railroad tracks.

Flowers: June-October

Origin: Introduced

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Taprooted annual or short-lived perennial, the stems solitary or several, branched in larger plants, 1-6 dm. tall, with stiff hairs of 2 lengths, often sticky.


Leaves numerous, cauline, opposite, linear, entire, 5-7 cm. long and 1-3 mm. wide.


Flowers in dense, bracteate spikes 0.5-1.5 cm. long and nearly 1 cm. thick; peduncles several, 2-8 cm. long, axillary; bracts broad, rounded, scarious-margined, the lowermost ones with a foliaceous tail-like structure; calyx 4-lobed; corolla 1.5-2 mm. long, the 4 lobes reflexed; ovary superior, 2-celled.



Accepted Name:
Plantago arenaria Waldst. & Kit.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Plantago indica L.
Plantago psyllium L., illegitimate name [HC]
Plantago scabra Moench
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Plantago arenaria in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Plantago arenaria checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Plantago arenaria atlas page.

CalPhotos: Plantago arenaria photos.

USDA Plants: Plantago arenaria information.

17 photographs:
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