Introducing Plantain Plantago  – a magnificent, medicinal, and beautifully versatile plant that’s easy to grow! Not only is it a fantastic addition to salads, promoting urinary tract health.

Plantago lanceolata, commonly known as Ribwort Plantain or Ribweed, is an annual or biennial herb boasting lance-shaped leaves ranging from 7 to 20cm in length. Its flower spikes, which can be oblong to cylindrical, measure up to 12cm long.

This perennial broadleaf plant, Broadleaf Plantain, thrives in various environments from spring through autumn. Beyond its culinary appeal, this wild wonder serves as a potent remedy for chronic diarrhea and digestive tract disorders. Packed with nutrients, it’s entirely safe for consumption. Fresh leaves, when chewed, can also be applied topically to soothe minor burns, insect bites, or wounds.

Distinguishing Features: Broadleaf Plantain flaunts oval to egg-shaped leaves forming a rosette, with thick stems meeting at the base. Breaking these stems reveals celery-like string veins. Its petite green flowers, growing from the base, sport long points and give way to small pods housing seeds.

Flowers: Compact spikes of plantain flowers rise from leafless stalks among the basal leaves. Each spike, resembling a pencil in size and shape, comprises numerous tiny, stalkless, greenish flowers, imparting a coarse granular texture. Each flower, measuring 2 to 3mm across, bears four petals, two stamens, and one pistil. Egg-shaped seedpods develop beneath the wilting flowers, blooming from spring to late autumn.

Edible Parts: Every part of the plant is edible. Young leaves can be consumed raw or cooked, with many opting to blanch them in boiling water beforehand to enhance tenderness. Blanched plantain can be frozen for later use in sautés, soups, or stews. Seeds, whether eaten raw or cooked, can also be ground into a nutritious meal and mixed with flour. Dried leaves make a nourishing herbal tea.

Also known as Common Plantain, Ribgrass, Lamb’s Tongue, or Narrow-Leaf Plantain, this plant offers a wealth of culinary and medicinal benefits.

This information is a guide only, always seek advice from a medical professional before beginning any new regimen. The information provided here is not diagnostic, so consulting a herbal practitioner or GP for a proper diagnosis is essential. Never discontinue prescribed treatments without consulting your GP or a qualified herbalist and always heed qualified medical advice.

Cultivation: To optimize growth, sow directly onto high-quality soil-based compost without delay. Ensure the seeds are covered with fine grit or compost to a depth similar to their size. While suitable for sowing year-round, germination may accelerate when kept at temperatures between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius. Transplanting is feasible by initially growing in punnets.

Picvture by Paulius Rupšas, CC BY 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

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Seed Count: 50

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