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Plantaginaceae: (Plantago and Snapdragons)

This family consists of 114 genera and 2,100 species. Just recently the family has been completely reorganized (Judd et al). What was a very small family (the Plantagos), has had most of the Scrophulariaceae family added onto it. Thus, the family now is most characteristic of the old Snapdragon family. A typical old Plantago is Plantago lanceolata. One well known Scroph is Digitalis purpurea, or foxglove, which is a deadly poisonous. It was however, used in folk remedies to treat heart disease, through the plants digitoxin. Today they use a similar derived compound, digitoxin, a type of cardiac glycoside.


Systematics: This family contains many diverse plants. The leaves for instance, vary so greatly that they are of little help except that they are usually simple. The flowers are almost always zygomorphic. The calyx and corolla are both usually 4-5 lobed. The corolla is often 2-lipped. Some of the petals also form a nectary spur or sack. There is usually a nectary disk at the base of the ovaries. One good clue to tell this family from others is the fact that the ovules are very numerous.

Specimens List

Dalmation Toadflax (Linaria dalmatica)

An invasive plant in the United States. VIDEO


Elephant-head Lousewort (Pedicularis groenlandica)

The flowers resemble the head and trunks of ... you guessed, elephants.


Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)

Contains a type of cardiac glycosides, digitoxin, a type of alkaloid that can stop the heart.


Butter and Eggs (Linaria vulgaris)

Invasive plant in the U.S. Given the name because of the yellow and white flowers.


Plantago (Plantago lanceolata)


 

Links to more information


VIDEOS OF SELECTED PLANTAGINACEAE

Dalmation Toadflax

Foxglove

Yellow Toadflax

 

 

 
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