tuberous Indian plantain

(Arnoglossum plantagineum)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

tuberous Indian plantain

 

NatureServe

S2 - Imperiled

Minnesota

Threatened

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

FAC - Facultative

Midwest

FAC - Facultative

Northcentral & Northeast

FAC - Facultative

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

Rare in Minnesota

Habitat

Usually wet to moderate moisture,rarely dry. Wet prairies, pastures, and bogs. Full to partial sun.

Flowering

June through August

 
Flower Color

Greenish-white to white or cream-colored

Height

20 to 40

 

Identification

Tuberous Indian plantain is an erect, perennial forb that rises on a rosette of basal leaves and a single stem from a horizontal underground stem (rhizome) and fleshy roots. In Minnesota it is usually 20 to 40 tall, though in other parts of its range it can reach 70 in height. It occurs from Ontario to Texas and Georgia. It is most common in the Midwest from Iowa and Illinois to Texas and Louisiana. It is rare in Minnesota, where it is listed as a threatened species.

The stem is erect, stout, angled, grooved, hairless, and unbranched below the inflorescence. It is green and has a fine, reddish-purple, longitudinal line on each angle, at least near the base of the plant. It is not covered with a whitish waxy bloom (glaucous).

Basal leaves are thick, firm, leathery, 3 to 8 long, and 1 to 3 wide. They are on stout, greenish-white to reddish-green, up to 4 long leaf stalks (petioles). The leaf blades are elliptic to egg-shaped, unlobed, rounded or bluntly pointed at the tip, and tapered at the base. The margins are greenish-white to reddish-green, usually untoothed, sometimes wavy, sometimes coarsely toothed. The upper and lower surfaces are hairless but not glaucous. There are 7 to 10 conspicuous, more or less parallel veins diverging from the base and converging at the tip.

Stem leaves are alternate and get progressively smaller and shorter stalked as they ascend the stem. Lower stem leaves are similar in size and appearance to basal leaves. Upper stem leaves are short stalked, egg-shaped to narrowly inversely egg-shaped, and tapered at the base. They are usually untoothed, sometimes coarsely toothed. Uppermost leaves are often stalkless.

The inflorescence is a flat-topped, branched, loose, 3 to 8 in diameter cluster (cyme) at the end of the stem. The flowers in the center on the cyme open first, the outermost flowers open last. The branches of the cyme are greenish-white and hairless.

Each flower head is 5 16 to long and to 3 16 wide. The whorl of bracts at the base of the flower head (involucre) has sharp, wing-like keels. The bracts are green with white keels and white tips. Each flower head has five disk florets. The corollas are 5 16 to 7 16 long, and white or cream-colored. They have 5 lobes that strongly bend backward. They extend only slightly beyond the involucre. The style is branched and has a stigmatic band along the inner surface of each branch.

The fruit is a dry, to 3 16 long capsule (achene) with a tuft of ¼ to long hairs attached at the end. The achene is dark brown and narrowly oval, and has 5 to 12 longitudinal ribs.

 
Similar
Species

 


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28, 29, 30, 72.


Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Asteraceae (aster)

 

Subfamily:

Asteroideae

 

Supertribe:

Senecionodae

 

Tribe:

Senecioneae

 

Subtribe:

Tussilagininae

 
Synonyms

Cacalia plantaginea

Cacalia pteranthes

Cacalia tuberosa

Mesadenia tuberosa

 
Common
Names

arnoglossum

groove-stem Indian-plantain

groovestem Indian plantain

prairie Indian plantain

tuberous Indian plantain

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Achene

A dry, one-chambered, single-seeded seed capsule, formed from a single carpel, with the seed attached to the membranous outer layer (wall) only by the seed stalk; the wall, formed entirely from the wall of the superior ovary, does not split open at maturity, but relies on decay or predation to release the contents.

 

Axil

The upper angle where a branch, stem, leaf stalk, or vein diverges.

 

Bract

Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk or flower cluster.

 

Cyme

A branched, flat-topped or convex flower cluster in which the terminal flower opens first and the outermost flowers open last.

 

Glaucous

Pale green or bluish gray due to a whitish, powdery or waxy film, as on a plum or a grape.

 

Involucre

A whorl of bracts beneath or surrounding a flower or flower cluster.

 

Petiole

The stalk of a leaf blade or compound leaf that attaches the leaf blade to the stem.

 

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

Rosette

A radiating group or cluster of leaves usually on or close to the ground.

       

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