Plagioclase is a member of the feldspar group (like orthoclase) and is a framework silicate. Plagioclase consists of a solid solution between the albite and anorthite end-members, and together with quartz is the most common of the rock forming minerals.

The twinning in plagioclase produces stacks of twin layers that are typically fractions to several millimetres thick. These twinned layers can be seen as striation like grooves on the surface of the crystal and, unlike true striations, these also appear on cleavage surfaces.

Plagioclase is found in almost all igneous rocks and most metamorphic rocks, but is less common in sedimentary rocks where it usually weathers to clay minerals or a fine grained variant of muscovite (sericite).

Chemical composition - CaAl2Si2O8 (anorthite), NaAlSi3O8 (albite)
Hardness - 6-6.5
Specific gravity - 2.6-2.8
Transparency - Translucent to opaque (rarely transparent)
Colour - Usually white, grey or colourless
Streak - White
Lustre - Vitreous
Cleavage/fracture - Perfect in two directions, commonly twinned / hackly, conchoidal
Crystal habit/mode of occurrence - Prismatic, tabular