Scientific Name: Plantago major

Common Name: common plantain

Other Common Names: broadleaf plantain, buckhorn plantain, rippleseed plantain

Synonyms: Plantago asiatica, Plantago halophila, Plantago major ssp. intermedia, Plantago major var. asiatica, Plantago major var. intermedia, Plantago major var. pachyphylla, Plantago major var. pilgeri, Plantago major var. scopulorum

Habit: This perennial weed grows in basal rosettes that hug the ground. Leaves die back during winter and sprouts occur from a fibrous taproot around mid-spring.

Leaves: The oval, ribbed, short-stemmed leaves form basal rosettes which tend to hug the ground. The leaves may grow up to about 6 long and 4 wide. Leaves have conspicuous veins that tend to curve along the leaf from base to tip in a semi-parrallel fasion. Leaves typically lack hairs.

Identifying Characteristics: Leaf veins are easy to see and tend to curve along the leaf from base to tip. Plants have a fibrous tap root and leaves tend to hug the ground. Flowers are born on naked stalks that have a slender spike about 8 inches long.

Flower Seed Head: Pale green flowers are born on slender spikes and lead to green capsules that later turn brown. Flowering stalks do not have leaves and typically lack hairs.

Seed Fruit: Small capsules start green and then turn brown. Capsules will break along a suture and tiny black seed are deposited

Where Found: Common in turfgrass with poor soil or compaction. Broadleaf plantain is a common turfgrass weed. It may also be found in pastures, ditches and around feed lots

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Plantaginaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: rosette

  • Leaf shape: oval; round

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: entire

  • Stem hairs: has hairs

  • Flower color: yellow; white; green

  • Growth habit: prostrate and nonwoody

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: has hairs

  • Flower diameter: pencil

  • Flower symmetry: radial symetery

  • Root structure: taproot

  • Leaf stalk: none