Syn.: Plantago psyllium L., Psyllium afrum (L.) Mirb.
Family: Plantaginaceae Juss.

Plantago afra

Distribution: Mediterranean region, Macaronesia (Canary Islands), eastern Africa (from Egypt to Tanzania), Arabian Peninsula, Central Asia (to Turkmenistan and northern Pakistan).

Ecology: It grows on rocky slopes, bushy hillsides, pastures, margins of fields, or on roadsides. It blooms from April to September.

Plantago afra

Description: Annual herb, 10–50 cm tall, strongly glandular-pubescent above. Stem erect, simple or branched. Leaves opposite, linear to narrowly lanceolate, up to 4(–6) cm long, only 4 mm wide, entire or sparsely dentate. Flowers in ovoid to spherical spikes to 15 mm long, bracts 3.5–8 mm, all similar in shape, ovate-lanceolate to lanceolate, acute or acuminate, with wide scarious margin below; sepals 3–4.5 mm, equal, oblanceolate; corolla-lobes c. 2 mm, ovate-lanceolate. The fruit is a capsule.

Note: The African Plantain is collected as a medicinal herb.

Plantago afraPlantago afra
Plantago afra

These images were taken in Italy, Gargano, Mattinata (April 19, 2008).