CPC Plant Profile: Heartleaf Plantain
Search / Plant Profile / Plantago cordata
Plant Profile

Heartleaf Plantain (Plantago cordata)

A close view of the small, pinkish-white flowers of the heart-leaved plantain. Photo Credit:
Description
  • Global Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Plantaginaceae
  • State: KY, MD, MI, MO, MS, NC, NY, OH, SC, TN, VA, WI, AL, AR, DC, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, ON
  • Nature Serve ID: 155726
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 03/14/1986

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).

Participating Institutions
Updates
  • 10/08/2020
  • Propagation Research

Research at CREW demonstrated that seeds of these species are desiccation tolerant and can survive cryopreservation and storage in liquid nitrogen (Pence et al., 2006). Seeds showed good germination after over a decade of storage in liquid nitrogen (Ballesteros and Pence, 2017).

  • 10/08/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Research at CREW demonstrated that seeds of these species are desiccation tolerant and can survive cryopreservation and storage in liquid nitrogen (Pence et al., 2006). Seeds showed good germination after over a decade of storage in liquid nitrogen (Ballesteros and Pence, 2017).

  • 10/08/2020
  • Seed Collection

Research at CREW demonstrated that seeds of these species are desiccation tolerant and can survive cryopreservation and storage in liquid nitrogen (Pence et al., 2006). Seeds showed good germination after over a decade of storage in liquid nitrogen (Ballesteros and Pence, 2017).

  • 10/08/2020
  • Cryo

Research at CREW demonstrated that seeds of these species are desiccation tolerant and can survive cryopreservation and storage in liquid nitrogen (Pence et al., 2006). Seeds showed good germination after over a decade of storage in liquid nitrogen (Ballesteros and Pence, 2017)

Valerie Pence
  • 01/08/2018

Research at CREW demonstrated that seeds of these species are desiccation tolerant and can survive cryopreservation and storage in liquid nitrogen (Pence et al., 2006).  Seeds showed good germination after over a decade of storage in liquid nitrogen (Ballesteros and Pence, 2017).

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Population has declined drastically everywhere except MO, where it appears to be stable. Extremely sensitive to changes in water quality. Very narrow habitat preference, yet can be locally common. 1994: Additional sites located in New York and Georgia, in particular, showing that species has two other areas of stability. A number of sites in Missouri protected now, with additional populations being discovered; reranked G4 in discussion with Missouri HP 16Dec94.

Dorothy M. Brazis
  • 01/01/2010

Habitat loss/destruction Cannot survive severe modifications to habitat Increased water flow as a seedling Grazing cattle Erosion Siltation Bank slumping Encroaching urban sprawl Destruction of forests Trampling by livestock Damming of streams

Dorothy M. Brazis
  • 01/01/2010

In Ohio, there are records in Adams, Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Erie, Franklin, Logan, Lorain, Lucas, Madison, Mahoning, and Scioto counties. Nine stations are known in Illinois (Herkert and Ebinger 2002) 2 Known populations in Mississippi Common in Missouri, with the most numerous and large populations known from this state. Known from two populations in Ontario, Canada (Species at Risk 2001)

Dorothy M. Brazis
  • 01/01/2010

None known.

Dorothy M. Brazis
  • 01/01/2010

A number of populations are located on state and federal lands, where it is relatively protected. Unfortunately, anything that affects the quality of water in the streams of a watershed will impact this species, so these populations are potentially vulnerable to outside influences.

MORE

Be the first to post an update!

Photos
Nomenclature
Taxon Plantago cordata
Authority Lam.
Family Plantaginaceae
CPC Number 3509
ITIS 32876
USDA PLCO2
Common Names Heart-leaved plantain | king-root plantain | heartleaf plantain
Associated Scientific Names Plantago cordata
Distribution Ontario, Canada (rare), Alabama (rare), Arkansas (rare), District of Colombia (historic/extirpated), Florida (rare), Georgia (present), Iowa (historic/extirpated), Illinois (rare), Indiana (rare), Ken
State Rank
State State Rank
Alabama S2
Arkansas S2
District of Columbia SH
Florida SH
Georgia S3
Iowa SH
Illinois S1
Indiana S1
Kentucky SX
Maryland SH
Michigan S1
Missouri S3S4
Mississippi S1
North Carolina S1
New York S3
Ohio S1
Ontario S1
South Carolina SNR
Tennessee S1
Virginia SH
Wisconsin S1
Habitat

Found in areas of dolomitic limestone, often growing in rock crevices or gravel bars in shallow, clear streams running through heavily wooded area. This species requires a very specific stream habitat, in which the processes of erosion and deposition are regular and predictable--agricultural or quarrying practices that increase the erosion rate and sediment load in a stream have a detrimental effect on this species. (Bowles and Apfelbaum 1987, Species at Risk 2001)

Ecological Relationships

None known.

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID

Donate to CPC to Save this Species

Fall fundraising drive has begun! We're looking for 2,500 people to protect our planet. With you by our side, we will build a future where people live in harmony with nature. Come help and become a CPC donor today.

Donate Today