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Pale Indian Plantain Arnoglossum atriplicifolium

Previously known as:

  • Cacalia atriplicifolia
  • Cacalia rotundifolia
  • Mesadenia atriplicifolia
Phonetic Spelling
arn-oh-GLOS-sum at-ry-pliss-ih-FOH-lee-um
Description

Pale Indian Plantain is a native wildflower with striking foliage. Its natural habitat includes mesic forests, woodland edges, savannas, thickets sand dunes, stream banks, clearings, prairies, and meadows.  

Growing from seed will produce rosettes of the showy blue-green foliage the first year, however, young plant do not flower. The leaves have the appearance of being made of plastic.  The upper surface of the leaves are medium to dark green, the underside are a lighter green to white.  From the basal leaves, a central stalk with alternating leaves develops, growing to up to 9' in height.  This stem ends in the form of a flat-topped panicle of flower heads.  These flower heads are typically arranged in small clusters of 4 to 15 flower heads with tiny white flowers.  

Its flowers form in clusters that are open and branched, with heads going in all directions.  Its sturdy stems can withstand the weight of its large clusters of flowers, without bending over.  

Fertile seed can be set by cross-pollination by insects including wasps, small bees and flies.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Its self-seeding attributes make this undesirable for smaller gardens, where it can tend to take over the landscape.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#heat tolerant#herbaceous#NC native#perennial flowers#deer resistant#herbaceous perennials#self-seeding#wildflower garden#food source summer#food source nectar#food source pollen#Audubon#herbaceous wildflower#wildflower
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#heat tolerant#herbaceous#NC native#perennial flowers#deer resistant#herbaceous perennials#self-seeding#wildflower garden#food source summer#food source nectar#food source pollen#Audubon#herbaceous wildflower#wildflower
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Arnoglossum
    Species:
    atriplicifolium
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Wildflower
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern U.S.A
    Distribution:
    AL, AR, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, VA, WI, WV
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Wasps, butterflies, birds, small bees, moths and flies are attracted to the flowers.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Easy to Grow
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Vase
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Purple/Lavender
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The tiny, ribbed, smooth, egg-shaped fruits display from June to November.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Cyme
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flat-top clusters of small flower heads sits at the top of the central stalk, each containing 4 to 15 white to yellowish green flowers. The flowers have five lobes, are stiff, and slender. Blooming occurs from June to October.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    White
    Leaf Feel:
    Waxy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Deltoid
    Orbicular
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Undulate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The upper sides of the leaves are medium to dark green, while the undersides of the leaves and stems have a waxy, white coating. The leaves are irregular, fan-shaped, and coarsely lobed or toothed. The basal leaves are up to 8" long and 6" wide. Springtime will bring an unbranched stalk with alternate leaves of up to 8" long and 8" wide and reaching a height of up to 9' tall. The leaves become smaller as they go up the stem.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    The smooth central stalk is pale green to pale purple. Fine veins can be seen along the stem. They remain unbranched below the flower clusters.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Heat