Scientific Name:
Plantago scabra Moench (1794)
  • = Plantago indica L., Syst. Nat., ed. 10, 2, (1759)
  • = Plantago arenaria Waldst. & Kit. (1801)
Vernacular Name(s):
Sand plantain

Hairy annual herb with persistent primary root and elongated ascending stems to c. 60 cm tall. Lvs not rosulate, cauline, sessile, opposite and in clusters, 3–7 cm × 0.5–2 mm, narrowly linear or linear-subulate, entire or nearly so; main vein 1; hairs mostly antrorse, especially on margins; base somewhat expanded; apex ± acute. Peduncles to 8 cm long, densely clothed in antrorse hairs, in axils of upper lvs. Spikes ovoid to globular, to c. 1.5 cm long. Lower leaflike bracts 5.5–10 mm long, broad-ovate with acuminate apex, with margins of lower expanded part sometimes membranous, otherwise bract herbaceous and densely hairy; main bracts smaller, obtuse or obtuse-cuspidate, with broad membranous margins and the hairy herbaceous area confined to narrow keel. Sepals unequal, similar in size and appearance to inner bracts, 3–4 mm long, ± obovate. Corolla tube slightly > calyx; lobes 1.5–2 mm long, ovate, eventually reflexing, glabrous. Stamens glabrous, shortly exserted. Style hairy, long-exserted. Capsule 1.5–3 mm long, subglobose, 2-seeded. Seed 1.5–2 mm long, ellipsoid, dark brown; inner surface deeply concave with involute margin.

[From: Webb et al. (1988) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 4.]


Flowering: Nov.–Apr.

Fuchs-Eckert, H. P. 1980: Beitrage zur Nomenklatur und Taxonomie der schweizer Flora. Feddes Repertorium Specierum Novarum Regni Vegetabilis 90: 574–575.
Linnaeus, C. 1759: Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae. Vol. 2. Edition 10. Stockholm.