South Dakota Native Plant Research
Plantaginaceae : Plantago rugelii

Plantaginaceae : Plantago rugelii


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Family Name


Common Name

Black-seeded plantain, Rugel's plantain


Plantago rugelii is a perennial herb growing from a short, erect caudex forming a low rosette of leaves with smooth, slender flowering stalks that can reach 35 cm in height. The leaf blades are broadly elliptic to ovate, 5-20 cm long and ½ to 2/3 as wide, narrowed at the base and rounded to pointed at the tip, with 5-9 major veins and entire to finely toothed margins. The petioles are 2-20 cm long, winged, and reddish toward the base. The inflorescence consists of 1-several terminal spikes, 5-20 cm long, sitting atop the smooth peduncle. Each flower is subtended by bracts 1.5-2.3 mm long, the 4 sepals are 2-2.5 mm long and the corolla forms a white to purple tube with 4 short lobes. The fruit is a capsule 6-8 mm long containing 4-10 black seeds. Blackseed plantain blooms from May into October in moist, often shaded woodlands and parklands along the eastern and western borders of South Dakota. This species is very similar to P. major, an introduced weed common in lawns and gardens throughout the world.

Additional Notes

Blackseed plantain is not unattractive but is not a species I would include in a native plant garden, as it is generally viewed as a weed because of its similarity to P. major.

Horticulture Notes

Seed Collection: Collect seed in Jun.-Oct. when black in color.
Germination: No dormancy - grows easily.
Soils: Sandy or loamy.
Light: Full sun to partial shade.
Water: Moist to mesic.

Plantaginaceae : Plantago rugelii