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Greater Plantain

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A very common  and rather nondescript flowering plant of bare, well trodden ground



Greater Plantain: down trodden but thriving

Post date: Saturday, 19 September, 2015 - 00:00

I do not think it is unfair to say that greater plantain (Plantago major) is one of those flowers that people just take for granted, hardly notice or just ignore. I suppose that is partly because it is so common, partly that it is rather nondescript and partly because it does not even look like a flower!

Greater plantain is basically a green plant; a basal rosette of green leaves, a green stem and a cluster of green flowers forming a series up the stems. It can be quite variable in size being quite small and insignificant or as much as 40 centimetres tall and quite imposing. It perhaps looks more like a member of the fern family than a flowers, adders-tongue fern comes to mind.

This is certainly a common plant occurring along paths where it is typically quite small, in farm yards and farm fields, in gardens and lawns, and just about anywhere there is bare or well trodden ground. In damp places it tends to grow larger than in bare dry places. It is a well known herbal remedy for a number of injuries and ailments.


The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Sites List Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Common Name Greater Plantain
Scientific Name Plantago major
Family Plantain family - Plantaginaceae
Status very common
Interest Level
Species Family Plantain Family - Plantaginaceae
Flower Colour Group Green
  • 06 - June
  • 07 - July
  • 08 - August
  • 09 - September
  • 10 - October
Preferred Environment
Look for Rosette of basal leaves and central green flower spike
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

This species is often found in these habitats:

Habitat(s) Relationship
BA: Arable farmland Associated
BF: Fringes - roadsides, bare ground & wasteland Associated