18. Plantago ovata Forsskål, Fl. Aegypt.-Arab. 31. 1775.
圆苞车前 yuan bao che qian
Plantago ispaghula Roxburgh ex Fleming.
Herbs, annual. Taproot long and tenuous, rigid. Stem short, branched basally, internode 2-15 mm, densely white villous-lanate. Leaves spirally alternate, sparsely to densely white villous-lanate; petiole 2-5 cm, tenuous; leaf blade linear to linear-lanceolate, 3-15 cm × 1-6 mm, papery, veins 3, base attenuate and decurrent onto petiole, margin entire or remotely denticulate, apex with 1.5-5 mm subulate tip. Spikes ovoid and 0.5-2 cm at anthesis but narrowly ovoid to shortly cylindric and to 5 cm after anthesis, densely flowered; peduncle 3-22 cm, villous-lanate; bracts broadly ovate to orbicular, 3-4 mm, usually glabrous, keel extending to or near apex. Sepals 2.5-3 mm, keel extending to or near apex; lower sepals obovate-elliptic, glabrous or pubescent; upper sepals elliptic, glabrous. Corolla white, glabrous; lobes orbicular-ovate, 2.5-2.8 mm, patent to reflexed, apex acute. Stamens adnate to near apex of corolla tube, exserted; anthers yellowish brown when dry, ovoid, 0.9-1.3 mm. Pyxis ellipsoid, 4-5 mm, circumscissile near middle, with 2 seeds. Seeds yellowish brown, ellipsoid to ovoid-ellipsoid, 2.5-3 mm, with a groove on ventral face; cotyledons vertical to ventral side. Fl. May-Jun, fr. Jun-Jul. 2n = 8*, 16.
Introduced for the medicinal seeds, locally naturalized in margins of fields or grasslands; near sea level to 1500 m. Fujian (Xiamen), Xinjiang (Moyu) [native to Mediterranean region; naturalized in C, E, and S Asia and North America].