Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Plantago virginica
L., Plantaginaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: bei mei che qian

English: hoary plantain, pale-seed plantain, paleseed Indianwheat, Virginia plantain

Habit:  herb

Description:  "This...plant is a winter annual. It consists of a small rosette of basal leaves, from which one or more flowering spikes develop. The basal leaves are up to 6" long and 3" across, although they are more typically about one-half this size. They can assume various shapes, including oblanceolate, obovate, and oval. The medium green leaves have 3-5 parallel veins, smooth and ciliate margins, and blunt tips; they taper gradually to winged petioles, which are often reddish. The upper surface of each leaf has white hairs, while the lower surface is woolly pubescent with longer white hairs along the veins. The flowering stalks are about 4-8" tall and unbranched. The upper two-thirds of each stalk consists of a cylindrical floral spike that is densely covered with small flowers and their bracts, while the lower one-third is naked (lacking bracts or cauline leaves). The naked portion of each stalk is terete, densely hairy, and often reddish toward the bottom. The flowers are unisexual, bisexual, or sterile. Each flower is about 1/8" long; it has a narrow corolla with 4 erect lobes and a calyx with 4 sepals. The chaffy corolla becomes tan or brown with maturity, while the sepals are green and hairy. The bracts of the flowers are green and hairy like the sepals, except they are even smaller in size. The flowers are wind-pollinated. Each fertile flower is replaced by an oblongoid seed capsule that splits open around the middle to release its seeds. The root system consists of a taproot"  (Illinois Wildflowers).

Habitat/ecology:  "Habitats include dry sand prairies, hill prairies, cliffs, rocky glades, barren slopes, gravelly areas along railroads and roadsides, sandy fields, and waste areas. This species is usually found in disturbed areas with scant vegetation"  (Illinois Wildflowers).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  United States and northern Mexico (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Japan (offshore islands)
Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands
Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands introduced
Kato, Hidetoshi (2007)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
invasive
Li-ying, Li/Ren, Wang/Waterhouse, D. F. (1997) (p. 174)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 189)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (Oregon) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (California) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Canada (except British Colombia)
Canada
Canada (country) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

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This page was created on 20 FEB 2010 and was last updated on 22 APR 2010.