Plantago ovata is a weed native to the southwestern United States. It’s seeds have been used for food by native populations in Arizona and is a common source of psyillium – a dietary fiber found in products such as Metamucil.
Following a wet winter, Plantago ovata can be found growing wild in the desert and along road sides in the spring. It’s presence contributes signifcantly to South Mountain Park in Phoenix turning green in the spring.
Plantago ovata is related to English Plantain (plantago lanciolata) an important allergenic weed found in Europe, Asia and North America.