Pale Indian plantain

Cacalia atriplicifolium (L.) H.E. Robins

Family: Asteraceae (aster)

  • Bloom Period:
    • Late,
    • Mid-Season,
  • Growth Cycle:
    • Perennial,
  • Growth Habit:
    • Forbs/Herbs,
  • Insect Type Attracted:
    • Natural Enemy,
    • Pollinator,
  • Light:
    • Full,
    • Partial,
  • Region:
    • Northern Lower Peninsula,
    • Southern Lower Peninsula
  • Soil Moisture:
    • Dry,
    • Medium,
  • Height:
    • 3-7ft

Natural enemies attracted

Moderately attractive: Orius insidiosus, Chalcidoidea, and Cantharidae.

Mildly attractive: Thomisidae, Plagiognathus politus, Coccinellidae, Sphecidae, Empididae, Cynipoidea and Syrphidae.

Pollinators attracted

Moderately attractive: bees including sweat bees, digger bees, and bumble bees

Pests attracted

Mildly attractive: lygus bug, leafhoppers, leaf beetles and weevils.

Plant notes

Flat, off-white flower clusters 2-6 inches wide are at the top of plants that grow 3-7 ft tall. Large succulent-looking leaves grow from one main stalk and are pale underneath. Plants bloomed throughout August. This species was one of the less attractive to natural enemies in the late season.


This plant grows in full to partial shade and very dry to average soil moisture. It naturally occurs in dry areas with open or partially shaded ground. It is found in river floodplain forests, creek banks and prairies, and is often associated with oaks found on dunes.

Cultivation and management

This plant can be grown from seed (flowers in second year) or plug material (flowers in first year).