Dwarf or Virginia Plantain, Plantago virginica
Plantaginaceae or Plantain Family


Very low plant, less than a foot tall. Stems and leaves soft hairy. Leaves broadly oval, all basal, without teeth. Flowers very tiny, green and brown, in a long, crowded spike on top of a long green stalk. Blooms in summer. Fruits tiny capsules that dry up, turn brown, and split in two to release the seeds. This kind of fruit is called a pyxis, plural pyxides.

A small native relative of the weedy plantains of lawns and gardens. Prefers sandy areas. Very rare in Wildwood; two small populations known, near the top of the Main Street staircase, and in the gravel parking area just inside the gate.

Resembles the familiar lawn weeds, broad-leaved plantain (P. major) and black-seeded plantain (P. rugelii), but those species are generally much larger and don't have furry leaves. English plantain (P. lanceolata) has relatively narrow leaves, and the flowers are in a short, brown spike at the end of a long stalk.



Leaf showing hairs
Closeup of fruits

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