Alphabetical Plant Listing

Plantago erecta (California Plantain)

Dotseed Plantain, California Plantain, Foothill Plantain, English Plantain, Plantago erecta ssp. rigidior, Plantago hookeriana var. californica, Plantago patagonica var. californica


Plantago erecta (California Plantain) is a small annual wildflower forming a rosette of very narrow, grass-like, pale green leaves, 1-5 in. long (2-12 cm), covered with sparse, silky hairs. In early to mid-spring, short cylindrical clusters of sessile flowers with 4 translucent, papery, white to tan petals, sit atop leafless stalks. They are followed by tiny capsules that dehisce when the seeds are mature. This annual species is regarded as a "drought avoider". It emerges early in the winter rainy season, develops quickly, and typically releases seeds and withers prior to hot, dry summers. California Plantain grows in sandy, clay, or serpentine soils, on grassy slopes and flats or open woodland, from California to Oregon. It is used where cool season annuals are desired to provide early cover for erosion control. This early annual compliments later emerging shrubs and perennials, while also providing a food source for the rare Quino checkerspot butterfly.

  • Grows up to 12 in. tall (30 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun or part shade in well-drained soils. Very adaptable California Plantain tolerates low fertility to deep, fertile soils, gravelly, sandy, clayey, and serpentine soils.
  • Good choice for beds and borders, butterfly gardens, meadows, and wildflower gardens.
  • No serious pest or disease issues.
  • Propagate by seed.
  • Native to Baja California, California, and Oregon.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 10
Plant Type Annuals
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid)
Height 6" – 1' (15cm – 30cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Pacific Northwest, Oregon
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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Joe Decruyenaere, Flickr, 123rf

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 10
Plant Type Annuals
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid)
Height 6" – 1' (15cm – 30cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Pacific Northwest, Oregon
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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