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Pakistan | Family List | Plantaginaceae

Plantago Linn., Sp. P1. 112. 1753. Gen. Pl. ed. 5: 52. 1754; Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 4:705. 1885; Pilg. in Engl. Pflanzenr. IV. 269 (Heft 102)1-466. 1937; A. Patzak and K.H. Rechinger in Rech. f., Fl. Iran. 15: 1965; B. Verdcourt in Milne Redhead and Polhill, Fl. Trop. E. Africa, Plantaginaceae (1971).

Plantago depressa

Credit: M.Y. Saleem

Annual or perennial, or mostly acaulescent herbs, sometimes an undershrub. Leaves usually all radical, sometimes cauline. Flowers hermaphrodite, dimorphic, polygamous, usually in many-flowered cylindrical spikes, rarely capitate. Calyx lobes subequal or 2 large and 2 small. Corolla tube cylindrical, sometimes contracted at the throat, usually equalling the calyx, sometimes exserted, lobes 4, equal, patent. Stamens 4, inserted at or above the middle of the corolla tube, often exserted. Ovary 2-locular or 3-4-locular with false free septa; locules with 1 to many ovules. Capsule membranous, circumscissile. Seeds usually peltate, testa thin, mucilaginous, albumen fleshy.

A cosmopolitan genus, with approximately 270 species, which is represented in Pakistan by nearly 20 species.

1 Stems absent or very short, (poorly developed in Plantago amplexicaulis); leaves all radical, spirally arranged   (2)
+ Stems present, well developed; leaves opposite   (19)
2 (1) Corolla tube or lobes pilose to hirsute   (3)
+ Corolla tube and lobes glabrous   (5)
3 (2) Corolla tube pilose, lobes glabrous   Plantago coronopus
+ Corolla tube glabrous, lobes pilose or hirsute   (4)
4 (3) Corolla lobes triangular-ovate, 1 mm long Spikes first ovoid, later short cylindrical, 8-15 mm long. Capsules 3.5 mm long, ellipsoied. Leaves narrow lanceolate, to oblanceolate   Plantago lagocephala
+ Corolla lobes narrow-ovate, 1.5 mm long. spikes ovoid, 10-20 mm long. Capsules 1.5 mm long, ellipsoid to short cylindrical, at the base semiglobose. Leaves obovate, lanceolate, spathulate to obovate spathulate   Plantago ciliata subsp. Lanata
5 (2) Ovary 2-ovuled   (6)
+ Ovary 3-many ovule   (14)
6 (5) Leaves distinctly amplexicaul. Stems poorly developed, branched at the bases   Plantago amplexicaulis subsp. bauphula
+ Leaves not amplexicaul. Stems not developed   (7)
7 (6) Anterior sepals connate   (8)
+ Anterior sepals free   (9)
8 (7) Perennial. Leaves with 5 nerves. Sepals 3-3.5 mm long, glabrous to slightly pilose. Corolla lobes not acuminate   Plantago lanceolata
+ Annual. Leaves with 3-5 nerves. Sepals 2-5.3 mm long. hirsute-pilose. Corolla lobes distinctly acuminate   Plantago lagopus
9 (7) Spikes usually 2-4 to rarely 1-flowered, 3-4.5 mm long, 3-4.2 mm broad   Plantago baltistanica
+ Spikes more than 5-flowered, much longer and broader than above   (10)
10 (9) Bracts mostly broad at the apices. Anterior and posterior sepals thin, tender, more or less similar, carina weak, visible only at the base or running to the middle of the sepals. Corolla lobes narrow, not reflexed   Plantago atrata subsp. spadicea
+ Bracts broad or narrow at the apices. Anterior and posterior sepals well differentiated, carina of the sepals strong. Corolla lobes usually broad and strongly reflexed   (11)
11 (10) Carina not running throughout the length of the sepals, only visible at he base, upper part without nerve. Corolla lobes narrowly ovate lanceolate, 1 mm long   Plantago loeflingii
+ Carina running throughout the length of the sepals. Corolla lobes ovate-lanceolate to ovaterotundate, 2-3 mm long   (12)
12 (11) Leaves lanceolate. Spikes when young short, 3-9 cm long, later much elongated, up to 17 cm long, bearing distant fruits. Sepals densely and uniformly covered with short grey hairs   Plantago stocksii
+ Leaves linear to lanceolate. Spikes when young 0.5-7 cm long, not elongated in fruit, always dense. Sepals glabrous or hairy at the margins   (13)
13 (12) Leaves liner to lanceolate, 2-15 mm broad. Spikes cylindrical oblong, 2-7 cm long. Bracts 4-5 mm long, margin villosa, hairs long. sepals 3-2.5 mm long, margins at the upper part villosa. Corolla lobes lanceolate-ovate   Plantago cylindrica
+ Leaves linear, 1-1.5 (-2.5) mm broad. Spikes capituliform to short cylindrical, 0.5-2 cm long. Bracts 3 mm long, margins at the upper part ciliate. Sepals 2.5 mm long entire. Corolla lobes broad ovate to rotundate cordate   12 Plantago ovata
14 (5) Ovary with 6-34 ovules   (15)
+ Ovary with 3-5 ovules   (17)
15 (14) Calyx short stip    
+ desc needed    

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