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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 19 | Plantaginaceae | Plantago

4. Plantago asiatica Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 113. 1753.

车前 che qian

Herbs, perennial. Roots numerous, fibrous. Leaves basal; petiole 2-15(-27) cm, sparsely pubescent; leaf blade broadly ovate to broadly elliptic, 4-12 × 2.5-6.5 cm, thinly papery to papery, sparsely pubescent, veins 3-7, base broadly cuneate to subrounded and decurrent onto petiole, margin entire, repand, serrate, or dentate, apex obtuse to acute. Spikes narrowly cylindric, 3-40 cm, loosely to densely flowered, sometimes interrupted basally; peduncle 5-30 cm, white pubescent; bracts narrowly ovate-triangular to triangular-lanceolate, 2-3 mm, glabrous or pubescent at apex, keel thick. Sepals 2-4 mm, keel extending or not extending to apex, apex obtuse, rounded, or acute; lower sepals elliptic, keel broad; upper sepals broadly obovate-elliptic to broadly obovate. Corolla white, glabrous; lobes narrowly triangular, (0.7-)1-1.5 mm, patent to reflexed, apex acuminate to acute. Stamens adnate only to near base of corolla tube, exserted; anthers white, ovoid-ellipsoid, 1-1.2 mm. Pyxis fusiform-ovoid, ovoid, conic-ovoid, or narrowly conic-ovoid, 3-6(-8) mm, circumscissile near base, with 5-15 seeds. Seeds blackish brown, ovoid-ellipsoid to ellipsoid, 1.2-2 mm, angled, ventral face prominent to slightly flat; cotyledons parallel to ventral side. Fl. Apr-Aug, fr. Jun-Sep.

Mountain slopes, ravines, riverbanks, fields, roadsides, wastelands, lawns; near sea level to 3800 m. Anhui, Chongqing, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Qinghai, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka].

Although Plantago asiatica and P. erosa (P. asiatica subsp. erosa) have sometimes been treated as synonyms of P. major (J. Parnell, Fl. Thailand 9(2): 153. 2008), molecular evidence does not support this (N. Rønsted et al., Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 139: 323-338. 2002; N. Ishikawa et al., Amer. J. Bot. 96: 1627-1635. 2009).

1 Sepals 3.5-4 mm, apex acute; pyxis narrowly conic-ovoid, 5-6(-8) mm.   4c subsp. densiflora
+ Sepals 2-3 mm, apex rounded to obtuse; pyxis fusiform-ovoid, ovoid, or conic-ovoid, 3-4.5 mm   (2)
2 (1) Leaf blade veins 5 or 7; keel not extending to apex of sepal; corolla lobes ca. 1.5 mm.   4a subsp. asiatica
+ Leaf blade veins 3(or 5); keel extending to apex of sepal; corolla lobes (0.7-)1-1.2 mm.   4b subsp. erosa

Lower Taxa


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