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Key to Plantaginaceae

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1 Leaves alternate, at least those on the upper stem; calyx 5-merous; stamens 4.
..2 Corolla lacking a spur or pouch at the base; [tribe Digitaleae]
..2 Corolla with a distinct spur or broad pouch protruding between the 2 lower calyx lobes; [tribe Antirrhineae].
....3 Corolla with a broad pouch at the base (saccate or gibbose).
......4 Calyx lobes about equal, all shorter than the corolla tube; corolla 25-40 mm long; leaves to 15 mm wide
......4 Calyx lobes distinctly unequal, all longer than the corolla tube; corolla 10-13 mm long; leaves to 5 mm wide
....3 Corolla with a slender spur at the base.
........5 Flowers in terminal racemes
........5 Flowers solitary in leaf axils.
..........6 Stems erect; leaves linear
..........6 Stems prostrate; leaves orbicular, ovate, or triangular.
............ 7 Leaves orbicular in outline, palmately lobed and veined; stems rooting at nodes
............ 7 Leaves ovate or triangular, pinnately veined; stems not rooting
1 Leaves either strictly basal, or opposite or whorled throughout; calyx 0-, 4-, or 5-merous; stamens 1, 2, or 4.
............ ..8 Leaves strongly basally disposed, usually all the leaves basal (or with significantly reduced cauline leaves); petals 3 or 4, scarious and translucent in texture or otherwise dull-yellow and inconspicuous; inflorescence a spike; [tribe Plantagineae]
............ ....9 Plants with leaves usually all basal; petals scarious and translucent in texture, not bilabiate; fruit a circumsessile dehiscent capsule (i.e. a lid-bearing pyxide); [collectively widespread]
............ ....9 Plants with prominent basal leaves and reduced, sub-whorled, cauline leaves; petals yellow, bilabiate; fruit a loculicidal capsule; [s. OH w. to s. IL, northward]
............ ..8 Leaves cauline, either opposite or whorled; petal 0, or 4, or 5; inflorescence various.
............ ......10 Leaves whorled.
............ ........11 Aquatic; leaves 5-30 mm long, lanceolate, toothed to deeply dissected into linear segments; [tribe Gratioleae]
............ ........11 Terrestrial; leaves 40-15 cm long, lanceolate or elliptic, toothed; [tribe Veroniceae]
............ ......10 Leaves opposite.
............ ..........12 Petals 0; sepals 0, stamens 1; leaves both < 2 cm long and entire; [tribe Callitricheae]
............ ..........12 Petals 4 or 5; sepals 4 or 5; stamens 2 or 4; leaves > 2 cm long, or serrate, or both.
............ ............ 13 Calyx and corolla 4-merous.
............ ............ ..14 Leaves punctate; stamens 4; [tribe Gratioleae]
............ ............ ..14 Leaves not punctate; stamens 2; [tribe Veroniceae]
............ ............ 13 Calyx and corolla 5-merous.
............ ............ ....15 Plants erect, moderately robust, usually > 4 dm tall, larger leaves > 5 cm long; inflorescences terminal (the bracts subtending flowers strongly reduced in size in comparison to main leaves of the stem); [tribe Cheloneae].
............ ............ ......16 Inflorescence compact, the inflorescence axis generally hidden by the closely packed and overlapping flowers; each flower subtended by large overlapping bracts
............ ............ ......16 Inflorescence more diffuse, the inflorescence axis readily visible between the flowers; flowers lacking extra subtending bracts
............ ............ ....15 Plants creeping, decumbent or erect, small, usually < 4 dm tall (except Mecardonia, to 5 dm tall), larger leaves < 5 cm long; inflorescences axillary (all or most of the flowers axillary to more-or-less normally sized leaves).
............ ............ ........17 Stamens 2; [section Gratioleae].
............ ............ ..........18 Capsule flattened, compressed in ×-section; capsule wider than long, notched; leaves dimorphic, with narrow submersed leaves on the lower stems, and broad floating leaves just subtending the aerial inflorescences; [of vernal pools on granite outcrops in Piedmont SC, GA, and AL]
............ ............ ..........18 Capsule turgid, roundish in ×-section; capsule longer than wide; leaves monomorphic; [collectively of many habitats and widespread].
............ ............ ............ 19 Flowers and fruits on definite pedicels; annual or perennial; leaves not papillose
............ ............ ............ 19 Flowers and fruits sessile or subsessile, the pedicels < 1 mm long; perennial; leaves papillose on the surfaces and margins
............ ............ ............ ..20 Sepals evidently connate into a tube about as long as the lobes; [section Cheloneae]
............ ............ ............ ..20 Sepals distinct or very nearly so.
............ ............ ............ ....21 Leaves deeply pinnatifid; [tribe Stemodieae]
............ ............ ............ ....21 Leaves entire or toothed; [tribe Gratioleae].
............ ............ ............ ......22 Corolla nearly radially symmetrical; corolla lobes about as long as the corolla tube; leaves palmately veined, with parallel veins diverging from the base, margins entire to crenulate; of aquatic to moist habitats, often somewhat succulent
............ ............ ............ ......22 Corolla distinctly bilabiate; corolla lobes shorter than the corolla tube; leaves pinnately veined, with a single main-vein and lateral veins diverging along it, margins serrate; of moist habitats, not succulent

Key P2: herbaceous dicots with alternate, simple, and palmately lobed leaves on the stem

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1 Inflorescence an involucrate head subtended by phyllaries, the heads solitary or many and variously arrayed in secondary inflorescences, the ovary inferior, the corolla connate and tubular at least basally, the calyx absent, the stamens 5, the fruit a cypsela
1 Inflorescence, flower, and fruit structure various, but not with the combination of features as above (sometimes the flowers in a head, e.g. Eryngium in APIACEAE, but then with other features differing, such as stamens 4, or green calyx present, or fruit a schizocarp of mericarps, etc.).
..2 Plant a vine, climbing by tendrils or twining.
....3 Vine climbing by twining.
......4 Leaf margins entire; flowers bisexual; plants hermaphroditic; petals connate, large and showy
......4 Leaf margins serrate; flowers unisexual; plants dioecious; petals absent
....3 Vine climbing by tendrils.
........5 Ovary inferior; petals connate; flowers unisexual
........5 Ovary superior; petals distinct; flowers bisexual
..2 Plant an herb, sometimes sprawling, reclining (e.g. Cymbalaria in PLANTAGINACEAE, Aconitum in RANUNCULACEAE), but lacking climbing adaptations such as tendrils or twining stems.
..........6 Ovary inferior; inflorescence an umbel; fruit a schizocarp of 2 mericarps
............ 7 Involucre well-developed and obvious
............ 7 Involucre absent or minute
..........6 Ovary superior; inflorescence various, not an umbel; fruit various, a capsule, an aggregate of achenes or follicles, a ring of (>2) mericarps.
............ ..8 Perianth uniseriate, the corolla absent (the calyx petaloid and white in Cnidoscolus); flowers unisexual; plants either with stinging hairs or not
............ ..8 Perianth biseriate (uniseriate in Aphanes in ROSACEAE and in Trautvetteria in RANUNCULACEAE); flowers bisexual; plants lacking stinging hairs.
............ ....9 Pistils many (or 2-3 in Aphanes in ROSACEAE), each with 1 carpel, arranged spirally or in a ring (if in a ring, of 2-5); fruit an aggregate of achenes, follicles, or utricles.
............ ......10 Perianth bilaterally symmetrical, either hooded or spurred; fruit an aggregate of follicles
............ ......10 Perianth radially symmetrical, not hooded or spurred; fruit an aggregate of utricles or achenes (plumose achenes in Geum)
............ ........11 Stamens showy, bright white, dilated towards the tip; pistils ca. 15; fruit an aggregate of utricles
............ ........11 Stamens not showy, white, or dilated towards the tip; pistils many (> 25); fruit an aggregate of achenes.
............ ..........12 Flowers lacking a hypanthium; achenes short-beaked
............ ..........12 Flowers with a prominent hypanthium; achenes with an elongate, plumose beak
............ ....9 Pistil 1, with 1-to many carpels (in many MALVACEAE, the carpels loosely united in a ring of more than 5 around the style); fruit a capsule, an achene, a follicle, or a ring of 3 or 5-many 1-seeded mericarps.
............ ............ 13 Perianth uniseriate, the corolla absent
............ ............ 13 Perianth biseriate, with well-developed and differentiated calyx and corolla
............ ............ ..14 Corolla bilaterally symmetrical, the petals connate (except distinct in Delphinium in RANUNCULACEAE); fruit a capsule, a follicle, or a schizocarp of 3 1-seeded mericarps.
............ ............ ....15 Corolla not spurred; fruit an elongate (10-20 cm) capsule with 2 curved beaks
............ ............ ....15 Corolla with a nectar spur; fruit < 3 cm long.
............ ............ ......16 Petals distinct; fruit a follicle
............ ............ ......16 Petals connate; fruit a capsule or a schizocarp of 3 1-seeded mericarps.
............ ............ ........17 Carpels 2; fruit a capsule; stamens 4
............ ............ ........17 Carpels 3; fruit a schizocarp of 3 1-seeded mericarps; stamens 8
............ ............ ..14 Corolla radially symmetrical, the petals distinct (fused and tubular in Ipomoea); fruit a capsule or a schizocarp consisting of a ring of 5-many 1-seeded mericarps.
............ ............ ..........18 Stem trailing; petals fused and tubular
............ ............ ..........18 Stem erect; petals separate.
............ ............ ............ 19 Stamens many, connate into a stamen tube; carpels 5-many, completely or only loosely fused; fruit a capsule or a schizocarp of 5-many mericarps borne in a ring; calyx often subtended by an epicalyx (an additional calyx-like, green, foliaceous whorl of bracts)
............ ............ ............ 19 Stamens 5 or 10, distinct; carpels 2 or 5, fused; fruit a capsule or a schizocarp of 5 1-seeded mericarps.
............ ............ ............ ..20 Fruit a schizocarp of 5 1-seeded mericarps; carpels 5; stamens 10
............ ............ ............ ..20 Fruit a capsule with 2 locules, loculicidal; carpels 2; stamens 5
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