Flora of the Southeastern United States
2022 Edition

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Key to Plantaginaceae

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; petals 4, scarious and translucent in texture; inflorescence a spike; [tribe Plantagineae]
............ ..8 Leaves cauline, either opposite or whorled; petal 0, or 4, or 5; inflorescence various.
............ ....9 Leaves whorled.
............ ......10 Aquatic; leaves 5-30 mm long, lanceolate, toothed to deeply dissected into linear segments; [tribe Gratioleae]
............ ......10 Terrestrial; leaves 40-15 cm long, lanceolate or elliptic, toothed; [tribe Veroniceae]
............ ....9 Leaves opposite.
............ ........11 Petals 0; sepals 0, stamens 1; leaves both < 2 cm long and entire; [tribe Callitricheae]
............ ........11 Petals 4 or 5; sepals 4 or 5; stamens 2 or 4; leaves > 2 cm long, or serrate, or both.
............ ..........12 Calyx and corolla 4-merous.
............ ............ 13 Leaves punctate; stamens 4; [tribe Gratioleae]
............ ............ 13 Leaves not punctate; stamens 2; [tribe Veroniceae]
............ ..........12 Calyx and corolla 5-merous.
............ ............ ..14 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].
............ ............ ....15 Inflorescence compact, the inflorescence axis generally hidden by the closely packed and overlapping flowers; each flower subtended by large overlapping bracts
............ ............ ....15 Inflorescence more diffuse, the inflorescence axis readily visible between the flowers; flowers lacking extra subtending bracts
............ ............ ..14 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).
............ ............ ......16 Stamens 2; [section Gratioleae].
............ ............ ........17 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]
............ ............ ........17 Capsule turgid, roundish in ×-section; capsule longer than wide; leaves monomorphic; [collectively of many habitats and widespread].
............ ............ ..........18 Flowers and fruits on definite pedicels; annual or perennial; leaves not papillose
............ ............ ..........18 Flowers and fruits sessile or subsessile, the pedicels < 1 mm long; perennial; leaves papillose on the surfaces and margins
............ ............ ......16 Stamens 4.
............ ............ ............ 19 Sepals evidently connate into a tube about as long as the lobes; [section Cheloneae]
............ ............ ............ 19 Sepals distinct or very nearly so.
............ ............ ............ ..20 Leaves deeply pinnatifid; [tribe Stemodieae]
............ ............ ............ ..20 Leaves entire or toothed; [tribe Gratioleae].
............ ............ ............ ....21 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
............ ............ ............ ....21 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