This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol3", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Plantago glabra Nutt. Gen. 1: 100. 1818?
Plantago eriopoda Torr. Ann. Lyc. N. Y. 2: 237. 1827.
Perennial, succulent; rootstock long, usually densely covered with long brown hairs among the bases of the leaves. Leaves oblong, oblong-lanceolate, or ob-lanceolate, entire, or repand-dentate, acute at the apex, narrowed into petioles, 5-9-ribbed, 3-12' long, 1/2'-11/2' wide, glabrous or very nearly so; scapes stout, more or less pubescent, longer than the leaves, 6'-18' high; spikes 1'-5' long, dense above, the lower flowers scattered; flowers perfect; sepals distinct, oblong-obovate with a narrow green midrib and broad scari-ous margins; corolla glabrous, its lobes spreading or reflexed; pyxis ovoid-oblong, very obtuse, one-third longer than the calyx, 2-4-seeded, circumscissile below the middle, seeds nearly flat.
In maritime or saline soil, Nova Scotia and Quebec to Minnesota, Athabasca, Colorado and California. June-Sept.
Plantago sparsiflora Michx., of the Southeastern States, admitted into our first edition as found in southern Illinois, is not known to range north of North Carolina.
Perennial, glabrous, purple-green; rootstock short, very stout. Leaves broadly ovate or nearly orbicular, pinnately veined, obtuse or acute at the apex, entire or dentate, rounded, abruptly narrowed, or cordate at the base, often 10' long; petioles stout, margined above; scapes stout, longer than the leaves; spikes loosely flowered, sometimes 1° long, with interrupted clusters; flowers perfect; sepals ovate to obovate, obtuse, green; corolla-lobes spreading; pyxis ovoid-globose, obtuse, circumscissile at or slightly below the middle, 1-4-seeded; seeds not excavated on the face.
In swamps and along streams, Ontario to New York, Alabama, Minnesota, Missouri and Louisiana. March-July.
Plantago maritima L. Sp. Pl. 114. 1753.
Plantago decipiens Barneoud, Mon. Plantag. 16. 1845.
P. borealis Lange, Fl. Dan. pl. 2707.
Annual, biennial, or perennial, fleshy; rootstock stout or slender, sometimes with tufts of whitish hairs among the bases of the leaves. Leaves linear, glabrous, very obscurely nerved, sessile, or narrowed into short margined petioles, 2'-10' long, entire, or with a few small teeth, 1"-2 1/2" wide; scapes slender, more or less pubescent, longer than or equalling the leaves; spikes dense, linear-cylindric, blunt, 1'-5' long; flowers perfect; sepals ovate-lanceolate to nearly orbicular, green, somewhat keeled; corolla pubescent without, its lobes spreading; pyxis ovoid-oblong, obtuse, 2-4-seeded, circumscissile at about the middle, nearly twice as long as the calyx; seeds nearly flat on the face.
In salt marshes and on sea-shores, Greenland and Labrador to New Jersey, and on the Pacific Coast from Alaska to California. Also on the coasts of Europe and Asia. Consists of several slightly differing races. Buckshorn. Gibbals. Sea-kemps. June-Sept.