Coefficient of Conservatism:
Coefficient of Wetness:
RUGEL'S PLANTAIN, RED-STALKED PLANTAIN
R. W. Smith
Although this is considered a native species, the earliest Michigan collection is from Kent Co. in 1883. Besides the usual disturbed ground (vacant lots, roadsides, parking lots, fields and gardens, lawns, etc.), P. rugelii inhabits moist shores, floodplains, river banks, forests (especially along trails and in clearings).
This species is almost as variable as P. major and grows in much the same places except the driest and hardest packed soil. It can usually be reliably distinguished even before the fruit is ripe by the narrow acute bracts and nearly linear sepals, giving the flower a more elongate, streamlined appearance than the chubby ones of P. major. (Furthermore, the spikes of robust plants may be as long as 65 cm.) The petioles are nearly always pink to deep red-purple at the base, while in P. major they are green or at most a pale pink. The leaves are usually glabrous, sometimes sparsely puberulent, and usually have a few small marginal teeth (though P. major may occasionally have teeth and more often a somewhat undulate margin).