Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Virginia Plantain - Plantago virginica   L.
Members of Plantaginaceae:
Members of Plantago with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Plantaginales » Family Plantaginaceae
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AuthorL.
DistributionStatewide, presumed to occur in all 100 counties.

This is a widespread Eastern species, ranging from New England to SD, and south to the Gulf Coast from FL to TX.
AbundanceCommon and widespread in range and habitats across the state.
HabitatAs with most Plantago species, it occurs in disturbed sites -- roadsides, lawns, weedy fields, waste lots, and similar places.
PhenologyBlooms and fruits from late March to June.
IdentificationThis familiar species has the basal leaves wider above the middle, and are obovate to oblanceolate in blade shape. The petiole is rather short, and the blade is about 3 inches long and about 1-inch wide. The several scapes grow to about 6 inches tall, and they are quite hairy-pubescent. The spikes cover the top half of the scape, with the very small flowers densely packed. The bracts are very short, and thus the width of the spike is only about 1/4-inch at best. The quite familiar non-native P. lanceolata, a common lawn weed, is similar, though it normally has longer and proportionally narrower leaves, the scape(s) glabrous to sparsely pubescent, and the spike limited to the upper 1/4-1/5 of the scape, not closer to 1/2 of the scape in P. virginica.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Dwarf Plantain, Pale-seeded Plantain, Hoary Plantain
State RankS5
Global RankG5
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