Indian Plantain
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Indian Plantain
ative Photo: Krishan Lal
Common name: Indian Plantain
Botanical name: Plantago indica    Family: Plantaginaceae (Isabgol family)
Synonyms: Plantago scabra, Plantago arenaria, Plantago psyllium

Indian Plantain is an annual herb. Stems are usually 20-30 cm tall, loosely covered with short glandular hairs, branches axillary. Oppositely arranged leaves are flat, up to 6 cm long, 3-4 mm broad, narrow-linear to linear-lanceshaped, narrowed upwards, tips blunt, entire to rarely slightly toothed. Flowers are borne in long-stalked spikes in the axils of the upper leaves. Stalks are 5-6 cm long. Flower-spikes dense, many flowered, 1-1.5 cm long, ovate-elliptic. Lower parts of the two lower most bracts rotundate-ovate, up to 4 mm long, then abruptly contracted and produced in to a narrow, thick, 4-6 mm rarely to 1 cm long acuminate upper part, covered with long white, glandular hairs; upper bracts very distinct from the lower ones, rotundate ovate to obovate, apices nearly truncate. Petals are 2 mm long, narrow-ovate, pointed. Seeds are 2.5-2.75 mm long, light reddish-brown, shining, narrow-elliptic.

Identification credit: Krishan Lal Photographed in Sirmaur Distt, Himachal Pradesh.

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