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Pale Purple Plantain - Arnoglossum atriplicifolium

Pale Purple Plantain - Arnoglossum atriplicifolium

Arnoglossum atriplicifolium, also known as Pale Indian Plantain or Pale Purple Plantain, is a perennial wildflower native to southern Michigan. It is strikingly tall, spreads with vigor, and is beloved by small pollinators, which in turn are plucked by hummingbirds*. It has attractive foliage with purplish stems, and the fluffy seed heads are as interesting as the flowers. The lower stems and leaves get a whitish bloom, giving the plant its pale name. This plant makes a good privacy screen and stands tall even in winter.


It reaches a height of 3 to 8 feet, depending on conditions, and prefers well-drained loam and full sun. Rocky and sandy, dry to medium soils are also fine, as is light shade, especially dappled with trees. It flowers in mid to late summer with clusters of white blossoms. It spreads with vigor and may overwhelm smaller plants, as it is meant to exist in tight competition with other prairie plants like Cup Plant and Big Bluestem.


* Birdscaping in the Midwest, 2012, Mariette Nowak.

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