Plantiginaceae : Plantain Family


Scientific Name:

Kingdom: Plantae

Class: Dicoteldonae (two sead-leaves)

Family: Plantaginaceae

Genera: 1

Species: 2

Plantago canescens (Northern Plantain)

Plantago major (Common Plantain)

English Name(s):

Plantain Family

Family Traits


  • Herbaceous plants.
  • Major leaf veins parallel.
  • Flowers perfect (bisexual) and regular in symmetry, small and greenish.
  • Flower parts 4-merous.
  • Ovary superior with 2 united pistils.
  • Fruit is a capsule opening by a cup-shaped lid.

Natural History:

  • Vast majority of the members of this family are in the Plantago (Plantain) genus.

Family Size:


Genera: 3

Species: 270

North America:

Genera: 2

Species: ?


Genera: 1

Species: 5

Illustrated Key To Family

Note: Move cursor over image for note on what to look for. Click on image to enlarge.

Plantago canescens (Northern Plantain)

Plantage major (Common Plantain)

Dicotomous Key To Family

  • A: Leaves lanceolate gradually tapering to the petiole (stalk): P.canescens (Northern Plantain)
  • A: Leaves oval, abruptly tapering to the petiole (stalk): P.major (Common Plantain)


Plantago (Plantain)

  • Tufted plants with no leaves on stems.
  • Plantago Major (Common Plantain) maybe one of, if not the most, wide spread plant in the world.
  • World= 270 sps.

    N.A.= ? sps.

    Yukon= 5 sps.

    Central Yukon= 2 sps.

    To Top Of Page