Ribwort Plantain - Plantago lanceolata


Origin Status: Exotic [E-flora]
General: Perennial herb from a short, stout, erect stem-base and taproot with secondary fibrous roots, the stem-base somewhat brown woolly-hairy; stems erect, few, simple, finely grooved, short stiff-hairy, 15-45 (60) cm tall.[IFBC-E-flora]
Leaves: Basal leaves lanceolate to oblanceolate or narrowly elliptic, smooth to long-hairy, 3- to several-veined, 10-35 cm long, 1-4 cm wide, stalked, entire; stem leaves lacking.[IFBC-E-flora]
Flowers: Inflorescence of dense bracteate spikes, the spikes more or less egg-shaped, becoming cylindric, 1.5-8 cm long, almost 1 cm thick; corollas greenish, 4-lobed, the lobes 2-2.5 mm long, spreading or reflexed; bracts widely egg-shaped, more or less equal to the sepals, thin, pointed; sepals next to the bract united; stamens conspicuous, yellow.[IFBC-E-flora]
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind, flies, beetles. The plant is self-fertile. [PFAF]
Fruits: Capsules, narrowly egg-shaped, 3-4 mm long; seeds 2, rarely 1, ellipsoid, shining, blackish, minutely roughened, 2-3 mm long, deeply concave.[IFBC-E-flora]

Habitat & Range
Habitat: Mesic to dry lawns, fields and waste places in the lowland, steppe and montane zones. [IFBC-E-flora]
"Grassland, roadsides etc, a common weed of lawns and cultivated ground, on neutral and basic soils[9, 17]." [PFAF]
Range: common in SW BC, infrequent N along the coast and E in BC; introduced from Eurasia. [IFBC-E-flora]
"Europe, including Britain, from Iceland south and east to Spain, northern and central Asia." [PFAF]

Edible Uses

Other Uses

Medicinal Uses



"Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil.
Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure." [PFAF]
"Succeeds in any moderately fertile soil in a sunny position[200]. Plants also succeed in very poor land[4]. An important food plant for the caterpillars of many species of butterflies[30]."[PFAF]
"Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer. A sowing can be made outdoors in situ in mid to late spring if you have enough seeds."[PFAF]

[E-flora]http://linnet.geog.ubc.ca/Atlas/Atlas.aspx?sciname=Plantago lanceolata&redblue=Both&lifeform=7, [Accessed: 9/18/2014]
[2] Personal Observation and notes. http://www.phytoday.org
[3] , http://www.Theplantlist.org, Accessed on April 23, 2014.
[IEPL] Inhibitory effects of Plantago lanceolata L. on soil N mineralization, Marko Dietz , Susanne Machill, Herbert C. Hoffmann and Knut Schmidtke, Plant and Soil, 07/2013, Volume 368, Issue 1
[PFAF] Plantago lanceolata, http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Plantago+lanceolata, Plants for a future, Accessed September 18, 2014

Page last modified on Sunday, July 14, 2019 4:02 PM