Herbs, with the leaves all radical, and the flowers in a close spike at the summit of a naked scape. Calyx of 4 sepals, persistent. Corolla 4-lobed, thin and membranaceous, spreading. Stamens 4, usually with long filaments, inserted on the corolla. Pod 2-celled, the top coming off like a lid. Leaves ribbed. The principal genus is
1. P. major, L. (Common P.) Spike long and slender. Leaves 5-7-ribbed, ovate or slightly heart-shaped, with channelled petioles. Pod 7-16-seeded. - Moist ground about dwellings.
2. P. Kamtschat'ica, Hook. (P. Rugelii, Decaisne, in Macoun's Catalogue.) Resembling small forms of No. 1, but pod 4-seeded.
3. P. lanceolata, L. (Rib-Grass. English Plantain.) Spike thick and dense, short. Leaves 3-5-ribbed, lanceolate or lanceolate-oblong. Scape grooved, long and slender. - Dry fields and banks.
4. P. cordata, Lam. Tall and glabrous. Bracts round-ovate, fleshy. Pod 2-4-seeded. - South-western Ontario.
5. P. marit'ima, L., var. juncoi'des, Gr., with very narrow and slender spike, and linear fleshy leaves, is found on the sea-coast and Lower St. Lawrence.
6. P. eriop'oda, Torr. Usually a mass of yellowish wool at the base. Leaves thickish, oblanceolate to obovate, with stout short petioles. Pod never more than 4-seeded. - Atl. sea-coast and N.W.
7. P. Patagon'ica, Jacq., var. gnaphalioides, Gray. White with silky wool. Leaves oblong-linear to filiform. Spike very dense, woolly. - Dry soil, N.W.