Plantago australis Lam.

Southern Plantain

Tabl. Encycl. 1: 339 (1792) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Short-lived perennial; rootstock unthickened, with many adventitious roots. Leaves rosetted, c. elliptic, mostly 10–30 cm long and 1.5–5 cm wide, acute or obtuse, scabrous to glabrescent, usually with 3 main veins, margins c. entire; petiole to c. 15 cm long. Spike long-cylindric, usually 10–40 cm long, dense at anthesis, more open in fruit; peduncles 5–40 cm long, sparsely hairy; bracts lanceolate to triangular, 2–3 mm long. Sepals oblong-ovate, c. 2.5 mm long, unequal, strongly ridged; corolla-tube c. 3 mm long, lobes 2.5–3 mm long, erect or rarely spreading; anthers c. 0.3 mm long, not exserted. Capsule ovoid to ellipsoid, 2.5–3 mm long; seeds 3, ellipsoid, 1.5–2.5 mm long, black. Flowers spring and summer.

*GipP, *Glep, *HSF, *OtP, *OtR, *VVP, *WPro. Also naturalised SA, Tas. Native to South America. In Victoria known from a few collections in the south, where usually collected from moist disturbed sites.

Both P. australis and P. myosuros have cleistogamous flowers with erect corolla-lobes. The former is, however, a more robust species with adventitious roots rather than a persistent taproot.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1999). Plantaginaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Lamiales
genus Plantago
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Plantago australis in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Plantago australis in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Glenelg Plain present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present introduced
Wilsons Promontory present introduced
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Otway Ranges present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia