Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Large-bracted Plantain - Plantago aristata   Michaux
Members of Plantaginaceae:
Members of Plantago with account distribution info or public map:
Google Images
Section 6 » Order Plantaginales » Family Plantaginaceae
Show/Hide Synonym
DistributionStatewide, and certainly found in all 100 counties.

This is a widespread species, ranging across most of the country, except for a few Western states. Some references claim that this is a non-native species in the eastern U.S., but many do consider it as a native. Weakley (2018) considers it of uncertain provenance in the Atlantic Coast states, but indicating that it certainly is native at least east to OH and MS. For now, the website editors will keep it as a native species, with counties coded in green for Natural Occurrence, rather than orange for Provenance Uncertain.
AbundanceCommon statewide.
HabitatThis is a weed of disturbed sites. It is found in lawns, weedy fields, roadsides, waste lots, and other dry and sterile soil sites.
PhenologyFlowers and fruits from late April to July.
IdentificationThis is a grass-like herb, easily overlooked by laypeople owing to a lack of colored flowers. The leaves (all basal) are grasslike, strongly ascending to nearly erect, linear to narrowly elliptical or lanceolate, to about 7 inches tall but less than 1/2-inch wide. The scape rises to about 8-10 inches high, with the upper 2-3 inches consisting of the spike of flowers. The closely packed flowers have papery petals, and thus the inflorescence is characterized by the numerous linear and sharply point bracts, each 1/3-1/2-inch long and angled upward. The effect is a wider spike than seen in the other members of the genus -- about 3/4-inch wide from bract tip to bract tip.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Buckhorn Plantain, Bracted Plantain
State RankS5
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Photo Gallery
B.A. SorrieWhispering Pines, edge of driveway. May 2015. MoorePhoto_natural
Select a source
Select an occurrence type