Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Plantaginaceae
Plantago cunninghamii

Citation: Decne. in A. DC., Prod. 13, 1:702 (1852).

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Sago weed.

Annuals with all leaves in a basal rosette, with a wiry tap root; leaves with a petiole up to 2 cm long continued into a long cuneate base, oblanceolate to linear-oblanceolate, 2-9 (rarely to 15) x 0.2-1.5 (rarely to 2.5) cm, usually obtuse, entire or with widely spaced teeth or lobes, usually with 3 main veins, pubescent on both surfaces.

Spikes cylindrical, 2-7 rarely to 12 cm long, compact, with lower flowers rarely separated when fruiting; peduncle 2-10 rarely to 15 cm long, terete, with appressed antrorse hairs at least below the spikes, with lower flowers borne at or just above the level of the leaf apices; bracts broadly elliptic, usually shorter than the sepals, with membranous margins; sepals elliptic, 1.5-2 mm long, with few hairs along the central ridge (dark-brown when dried), with a narrow membranous margin; corolla tube 1.5-2 mm long; lobes ovate, c. 1 mm long, acute; anthers broadly ovate, c. 0.6 mm long; ovary 2- or 3-celled with 2 ovules in the lower ones and 1 in the upper cell.

Capsule pyriform with a distinct beak, 2.5-3 rarely 3.5 mm long, 1.7-2 mm diam., pale- to dark-brown; seeds 1-5, 1-1.5 mm long, narrowly compressed-ellipsoid, pale-brown.

image of FSA3_Plantago_cun.jpg Fruit.
Image source: fig. 614E in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Published illustration: Cunningham et al. (1982) Plants of western New South Wales, p. 617.

Distribution:  In moist clay depressions.

S.Aust.: LE, FR, MU, SE.   N.T.; Qld; N.S.W.; Vic.

Conservation status: native

Flowering time: July — Aug.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: No text

Taxonomic notes: P. cunninghamii is usually distinguished from the very similar species P. drummondii by its smaller and always distinctly beaked fruits. The acute beak of the capsule is often vaguely quadrangular underlining its intermediate nature between P. drummondii and P. turrifera as Briggs et al. (1977) Flora of New South Wales, p. 34 pointed out.

Author: Not yet available

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