Plantago cordata

Common Names:
Heart-leaved plantain, king-root plantain
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Dorothy M. Brazis
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
The Holden Arboretum
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

The conservation of Plantago cordata is fully sponsored.
Dorothy M. Brazis contributed to this Plant Profile.


The heartleaf plantain is a semi-aquatic plant that is found primarily in central and northeastern U.S. and Canada, with disjunct populations occurring in Georgia and possibly Florida. (Bowles and Apfelbaum 1987) This species has declined throughout much of its range, with a number of Midwestern populations now extirpated or at existing only as small remnant populations. The largest, most healthy populations exist in areas with unaltered watersheds (Morgan 1980).

This perennial herb has a rosette of large (up to 10 inches long), heart-shaped leaves that have distinct veins arising from their midvein and radiating outwards. These leaves are found on the plant only in the summer. During the winter months, small, lance or spatula-shaped leaves take their place, and transition in size during the spring and fall seasons. The aptly-named heartleaf plantain begins to flower in mid-April, producing 80 to 130 small whitish flowers along flowering spikes that can grow one or even two feet in height. Its flowers are wind-pollinated, but capable of self-pollination (Tessene 1969; Meagher et al. 1978).

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research