The silhouette of this plant attracted my attention from a moving car several weeks ago. The photos don't really capture the dramatic form that caught my eye speeding by at 50 mph. I stopped last Sunday to get a closer look.
Though I've never encountered Indian plantain before, I thought I'd seen similar plants in some of the nursery catalogues I use, so I went on a search, only to discover there are several different Indian plantains. This one has jagged, angular foliage held at a uniform angle (maybe 60 degrees) from the horizontal. Combined with the rigid stems of the plant, they make for a striking effect against a uniform background. I believe this is Cacalia mulengergii, Great Indian plantain, but correct me, please, if I'm wrong.
The umbelliferous flower heads are decorative, but the foliage and overall figure of the plant are what make this plant unique. Now I'm on a search to find it for my garden.
This close-up gives a better view of the foliage as well as the reddish stems.
This specimen is growing on private land, about 25 feet from the roadside, in the Rosemont Valley near our house in western New Jersey.