Plantaginaceae - plantain family

Gerald A. Mulligan
Research Scientist and Research Institute Director (retired) and presently Honorary Research Associate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada,
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0C6, Canada

Awarded the George Lawson Medal by the Canadian Botanical Association in 2006.
Awarded the Faculty of Macdonald, McGill University, Most Distinguished Alumni Award on October 18, 2014.
Read his biography "The Real Weed Man" available in print and ebook.

Click here to go to Weed Photos for this family

Plantago lanceolata L., narrow-leaved plantain, plantain lancéolé
Perennial, spreading by seeds; flowering stems usually less than 1 foot (3 dm.) high; flowers inconspicuous; throughout, except the mid-west; pastures, meadows, lawns, roadsides, and waste places; introduced from Europe.

Plantago major L., broad-leaved plantain, plantain majeur
Perennial, spreading by seeds, flowering stems usually less than 8 inches (20 cm.) high; flowers inconspicuous; abundant throughout; lawns, pastures, meadows, cultivated fields, and roadsides; introduced from Europe.

Plantago media L., hoary plantain, plantain moyen
Perennial, reproducing by seeds; flowering stems usually less than 6 inches (15 cm.) high; flowers inconspicuous; locally common, except in the mid-west; lawns, waste places, and roadsides; introduced from Europe.

Plantago rugelii Dcne., Rugel's plantain, plantain de Rugel
Perennial, spreading by seeds; flowering stems less than 8 inches (20 cm.) high; eastern; shorelines, roadsides, and waste places; native to North America. Leaves usually a paler green than broad-leaved plantain, and reddish towards the leaf bases.

Click on a photo to view an enlarged image.
Weed Name Photo Weed Name Photo
narrow-leaved plantain, plantain lancéolé narrow-leaved plantain, plantain lancéolé
narrow-leaved plantain, plantain lancéolé
(drawings by Ilgvars Steins [a, plant; b & c, capsules; d, seed])
narrow-leaved plantain, plantain lancéolé
(seedling, FF)
narrow-leaved plantain, plantain lancéolé (NC) broad-leaved plantain, plantain majeur and narrow-leaved plantain, plantain lancéolé
(F&M)
broad-leaved plantain, plantain majeur broad-leaved plantain, plantain majeur
broad-leaved plantain, plantain majeur
(drawings by Ilgvars Steins [a, plant; b, capsules; c, seed])
broad-leaved plantain, plantain majeur
(seedling)
broad-leaved plantain, plantain majeur (NC) hoary plantain, plantain moyen
hoary plantain, plantain moyen
(drawings by Ilgvars Steins [a, plant; b & c, capsules; d, seed])
Rugel's plantain, plantain de Rugel
Rugel's plantain, plantain de Rugel
(drawings by Ilgvars Steins [a, plant; b, capsules; c, seed])
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