Plantago maritima (common names sea plantain, seaside plantain, goose tongue) is a species of flowering plant in the plantain family Plantaginaceae. It has a subcosmopolitan distribution in temperate and Arctic regions, native to most of Europe, northwest Africa, northern and central Asia, northern North America, and southern South America. Like samphires, the leaves of the plant are harvested to be eaten raw or cooked. The seeds are also eaten raw or cooked, and can be ground into flour.
It is a herbaceous perennial plant with a dense rosette of stemless leaves. Each leaf is linear, 2–22 cm long and under 1 cm broad, thick and fleshy-textured, with an acute apex and a smooth or distantly toothed margin; there are three to five veins. The flowers are small, greenish-brown with brown stamens, produced in a dense spike 0.5–10 cm long on top of a stem 3–20 cm tall.
- Plantago maritima subsp. maritima. Europe, Asia, northwest Africa.
- Plantago maritima subsp. borealis (Lange) A. Blytt and O. Dahl. Arctic regions. All parts of the plant small, compared to temperate plants.
- Plantago maritima subsp. juncoides (Lam.) Hultén. South America, North America (this name to North American plants has been questioned).
- Plantago maritima subsp. serpentina (All.) Arcang. Central Europe, on serpentine soils in mountains.
Ecology and physiology
In much of the range it is strictly coastal, growing on sandy soils. In some areas, it also occurs in alpine habitats, along mountain streams. Some of the physiology and metabolism of this species has been described, of particular note is how the metabolism of this species is altered with elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.
- The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species, retrieved 9 November 2016
- Germplasm Resources Information Network: Plantago maritima
- Flora Europaea: Plantago maritima
- Plants for a Future, retrieved 9 November 2016
- Seymour, Tom, Foraging New England: Edible wild food and medicinal plants from Maine to the Adirondacks to Long Island Sound, 2nd ed. (Guilford, Connecticut: Morris Book Publishing, 2013), pp. 2-4. See also: Seymour, Tom (June 2009), "Free Lunch: Foraging the Maine Seashore," Fishermen's Voice (Gouldsboro, Maine, U.S.A.).
- Blamey, M. & Grey-Wilson, C. (1989). Flora of Britain and Northern Europe. ISBN 0-340-40170-2
- Plants of British Columbia: Plantago maritima
- Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Plantago maritima
- Davey, M. P.; Harmens, H.; Ashenden, T. W.; Edwards, R.; Baxter, R. (2007). "Species-specific effects of elevated CO2 on resource allocation in Plantago maritima and Armeria maritima". Biochemical Systematics and Ecology. 35 (3): 121. doi:10.1016/j.bse.2006.09.004.
- Davey, M.; Bryant, D. N.; Cummins, I.; Ashenden, T. W.; Gates, P.; Baxter, R.; Edwards, R. (2004). "Effects of elevated CO2 on the vasculature and phenolic secondary metabolism of Plantago maritima". Phytochemistry. 65 (15): 2197–2204. doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2004.06.016. PMID 15587703.
- Media related to Plantago maritima at Wikimedia Commons