[The Plantain Family in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]
Indian-wheat, Woolly Plantain
Synonyms: Plantago patagonica var. breviscapa, Plantago patagonica var. gnaphalioides, Plantago patagonica var. oblonga, Plantago patagonica var. spinulosa, Plantago picta, Plantago purshii, Plantago purshii var. breviscapa, Plantago purshii var. oblonga, Plantago purshii var. picata, Plantago purshii var. spinulosa, Plantago spinulosa, Plantago wyomingensis
The photo above shows a close-up of Indian-wheat as seen at Catherine Creek in the central Columbia River Gorge........6-3, 2006.
Woolly-plantain is an annual weed with soft, hairy
herbage. Its stems are erect, from 7.5-25 cm tall, with numerous long, thin,
upright leaves clustered at the base of the plant. The 5-petaled flowers are
tiny, white, and clustered in spikes from 2.5-12.5 cm long. It should be noted that the flowers appear 4-petaled but the lowermost petal is composed of two joined petals. The flowers are
surrounded by woolly bracts.
Woolly-plantain is found in dry, open places in
the valleys, plains, and foothills. It is common in sandy places.
A native of North America, woolly-plantain is found
from southern British Columbia south to California and Texas, and east to Saskatchewan.
It is an introduced weed east of its natural range, and has also been found
in Chile and Argentina. In the Pacific Northwest, it is found east of the Cascades,
and in the Columbia River Gorge, it is found east of Dog Mt. between the elevations
The photo above shows a close-up the inflorescence of Indian-wheat as seen at Catherine Creek in the central Columbia River Gorge........June 3, 2006. The flowers are quite interesting to look at.
Woolly plantain blooming at left on sand dunes along Washington Highway 14 west of Rock Creek at milepost 115.5........May 11, 2009. The photo at center shows Indian-wheat in the weedy, sandy soils at Horsethief Butte in the eastern Columbia River Gorge.........May 10, 2009. The photo at right shows woolly plantain in bloom on sand dunes along Washington Highway 14 about 1-2 miles west of Rock Creek......May 2, 2019.