Pale Indian plantain from Diane, SC

Hi, Dr. Hill,
This 6-ft. tall plant is growing in a fairly open woody area of the SC fall line in the middle of a trail that was cleared last year. There is some mid-day sun, but dappled shade prevails most of the day. The photo was taken on Aug. 25 and it is clearly very attractive to bees, butterflies, and moths despite the plain looking blooms.
Thank you.

Hi Diane,

your plant is called Arnoglossum atriplicifolia – the pale Indian plantain.  I learned it as Cacalia atriplicifolia.  I think it is an attractive native plant because of the whitened leaf undersides and flower clusters, though the individual flowers are not showy.  Most people do not notice it until it starts getting tall just before it flowers.  It is in the family Asteraceae.


Steve Hill, Botanist, SCNPS


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