Common Name: pale Indian plantain
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Native Range: Eastern and south-central United States
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist soils which do not dry out. Freely self-seeds in optimum growing conditions. If grown from seed, large basal leaves will appear the first year, but flowering stems may not appear until the second or third years. Flowering stems may be cut back to the basal foliage after bloom to encourage a lower, secondary bloom.
Cacalia atriplicifolia, commonly called pale Indian plantain, is a tall Missouri native herbaceous perennial which grows 3-6' (less frequently to 8') tall and typically occurs in open and rocky woodlands, thickets, slopes, wet meadows and along streams throughout the State. Features flat-topped clusters (corymbs) of tiny, white tubular flowers atop thick, rigid, leafy flowering stalks rising from the basal foliage. Blooms in summer. Fan-shaped basal leaves (to 12" wide) are thick, leathery, and coarsely toothed and lobed, somewhat resembling very large sycamore leaves. Stems and lower leaf surfaces are covered with a grayish-white bloom hence the "pale" part of the common name. Synonymous with Arnoglossum atriplicifolium.
Specific epithet means with leaves like salt-bush.
No serious insect or disease problems.
Naturalizes well in woodland, wild, cottage or native plant gardens. Height and substance make this an interesting selection for grouping in border backgrounds, though the plant is somewhat coarse and is often considered to lack sufficient ornamental qualities for inclusion in borders. Uncommonly sold by nurseries.