Species in the Plantain family in our region are annual or perennial herbs, and include both terrestrial species and rooted aquatics. They usually have all basal, alternate, or opposite leaves. The flowers may grow in arrays or singly. They usually have both pollen-bearing and ovule-bearing parts and are zygomorphic (bilateral symmetrical), but some genera are are actinimorphic (radially symmetrical). Some species have no sepals or petals. The other species have 4 or 5 sepals and usually 5 petals; these flower parts attach below the ovary (i.e., the ovary is superior). The petals are often fused into a lobed tube. There are usually 4 stamens and 1 style. The fruit is a capsule that splits open to release its seeds. Some species in this family were formerly placed in other families, including the Callitrichaceae, Hippuridaceae, and Scrophulariaceae.
This Family’s Genera in New England:
Visit this family in the Dichotomous Key