Plantago asiatica subsp. erosa (Wallich) Z. Y. Li, Sp. Pl. 113 1753. (syn: Plantago centralis Pilg.; Plantago erosa Wall.);
Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka as per Flora of China;
China (Chongqing, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Qinghai,
Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan), Tibet, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan (Hazara,
Murree), Jammu & Kashmir (Kashmir), Nepal, Sri Lanka as per Catalogue of Life;
Herbs, stem short or absent. Leaves radical, 7 x 5 cm, ovate, apex obtuse, base cuneate into a winged petiole, villous; petiole 5-6 cm long, sheathing at base. Flowers in elongated axillary dense spikes, bracts ovate, keeled; sepals 4, 2.5 mm long, ovate; corolla 2.5 mm long, salver-shaped, shortly lobed at apex, white; stamens 4, epipetalous, anthers versatile; ovary 1-celled; ovules 5-10; style 1, terminal, stigma linear. Capsule circumscissile, 6 x 3 mm; seeds many, oblong, black.
Flowering and fruiting: April-June
(Attributions- Dr. N Sasidharan (Dr. B P Pal Fellow), Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi from India Biodiversity Portal)
Plantago major complex ABMAY2019/01 : 6 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (23)
I have been trying to establish the correct identity of our plantago species here. Since it is a difficult genus, it took me quite a while to reach some conclusion. Following our previous conversation I had started with Plantago major as the beginning point. Referring to the excellent Tibetan Medicinal Plants edited by Christa Kletter and Monika Kriechbaum (I found a copy in a Tibetan library here). I started looking first at Plantago depressa because our plants do not always have noticeable broad leaves. Studying the visible characteristics was not enough to rule out depressa so I had to pull out two plants (something I don’t enjoy doing) to look at the root structure. I found the younger of the two plants without any rootstock but the other had a stocky rootstock, the bottom end of which looked cut, which according to the key in the book ruled out depressa (which should have a taproot). Furthermore the seedpods contained between 9 and 14 tiny seeds each measuring roughly 1.2 mm, strengthening the case for P. major complex (depressa should have 6-8, 2 mm each).
Once I ruled out depressa, I started looking at plants similar to P. major (within the complex) that fit the description of our plants. A comment in the book said that P. erosa is difficult to tell apart from P. major but erosa has hairy leaves especially when they are young. I looked at young leaves and found them to be hairy. In fact there are scattered leaves even on the mature leaves. Also according to the key, erosa should have a continuous sepal keel, which again is true for our plants (I will appreciate if someone could confirm this looking at the photos).
So I am inclined to put our plants as P. erosa within the larger P. major complex. Please advise.
I found another pdf on the family here.
All plants were photographed at roughly 1700-1800m altitude between 08-10 May 2019 in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.
Thanks, …, for the well researched presentation.
May I request you to pl. also have a look at … posts at Plantago asiatica subsp. erosa
Catalogue of Life The Plant List Ver.1.1 IPNI
GBIF Flora of China
India Biodiversity Portal Kerala plants Wikipedia Flora of Peninsular India POWO
Floristic Diversity of Assam: Study of Pabitora Wildlife Sanctuary By Bora, Yogendra Kumar (2003- details)