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Products > Plantago maritima
Plantago maritima - Pacific Seaside Plantain

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Plantaginaceae (Plantains)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Green
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [P. maritima var. californica, var. juncoides]
Height: <1 foot
Width: <1 foot
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: < 0 F
Plantago maritima (Pacific Seaside Plantain) An herbaceous perennial growing to about 6 inches tall with a stout taproot topped by a dense rosette of narrow 2 to 3 inch long thick fleshy mid-green tapering leaves with upright 6 inch tall tight flowering spikes with the small greenish flowers held tightly with yellow exerted stamens in late spring to late summer. Not sure how best to grow this other than to mimic conditions it is found in nature. Plant in full sun and water occasionally in soil that drains. Try it in a wall or crack in the pavement. Given its extensive range up into Alaska this plant should prove very winter hardy and it tolerates seaside conditions - reportedly it can even be irrigated with salt water so maybe a good candidate for gardens irrigated with reclaimed water. It looks like an interesting succulent plant and we understand that its foliage is tasty, especially to geese which is why it has names such as Succulent Plantain, Goose Tongue, Alkali Plantain, Maritime Plantain. This interesting little plant has a nearly cosmopolitan distribution in temperate and Arctic regions as it is native to much of Europe, northwest Africa, northern and central Asia, northern North America, and southern South America. In California it inhabits wetlands and coastal bluffs in the Coastal Salt Marsh, Coastal Strand, Wetland-riparian plant communities from Ventura County north. The name for the genus is an ancient name for some of the species and was derived from the Latin words 'planta' meaning "sole of the foot" and the suffix 'ago' meaning "a resemblance" because the plants grow flat at ground level. The specific epithet is in reference to this plants habitat near the ocean. Our plants came from seed collected from plants growing on right on the edge of coastal bluffs near the Point Arena Lighthouse in Mendocino County. Just couldn't pass it up without collecting some seed.  This description is based on our research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We will also incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information about this plant, in particular if this information is contrary to what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Plantago maritima.