Also known as
Common Plantain, Cart-track Plant, White Man's Foot, Plantain Weed, Healing Blade, Lamb's Foot, Lark Seed, Rat's Tail
Photo by productive_spignel3 (All rights reserved)
This plant has no fragrance
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Greater Plantain Overview
Plantago major, commonly known as Greater Plantain or Broad-Leaf Plantain, is a native perennial wildflower to Northern Europe and considered by many as a weed. It produces upright and scaly-looking 'tail-like straw-coloured flower spikes - leading to its other common name of 'Rat's Tail' - from a low lying rosette of leaves. This free seeding plant - on average, one plant can produce 14,000 per year - will germinate in any disturbed ground and forms a strong root system that helps it cope with drought and floods. If growing unwanted in your lawn, you may need to remove this low growing plant by hand as mowers often miss it.
How to propagate Greater Plantain
Propagation is by seeds.
Division in the spring.
Special features of Greater Plantain
A useful food source of a variety of pollinators.
Other uses of Greater Plantain
These wildflowers suits being included in wildlife-friendly meadows. Sowing may not be required - they will frequently arrive on their own.
Greater Plantain leaves can be eaten when young - however, they have a bitter flavour which intensifies with maturity. They contain small amounts of calcium and vitamin A. ;
Antihistamine - The leaves can be used to soothe insect stings and bites, and may help with nettle stings. It has also been used for its mild antibiotic and analgesic qualities as dressings to stem bleeding
Fibre from the boiled plant can be wrapped into cord.