Broadleaf Plantain

Plantago major

Common Name: Broadleaf plantain (a.k.a. dooryard plantain, common plantain)      
Scientific Name: Plantago major
Family: Plantaginaceae
Growth Form: Herb
Native Range: Europe
Alien Range: Throughout the United States and Southern Canada
Introduction: Puritans brought broadleaf plantain to New England as a medicinal herb, introducing it to Boston, Plymouth and Cape Cod.  By 1798 it had naturalized.  Reproduction is by seed.  Sometimes seeds are spread by lawnmowers.
Description: ·Leaves:  Form a basal rosette.  Broad and oval.  Wavy, entire margins.  Parallel venation.  Smooth; mostly hairless. 

·Stem:  Leafless, un-branched, covered in tiny flowers.  5-30 cm (2-12 in.) long.  Present in summer.

·Flowers: Present from June to September.  White petals, 1mm long.  Bracts 2-4 mm long, oval shaped.

·Fruit: Oval capsule, 3-5 mm (0.25 in.) long.  6-30 seeds inside, light brown, 1.5 mm long. 
Threats: Broadleaf plantain is a weed of turfgrass, and can disrupt landscaping.  It can form dense clumps that interfere with proper traction on surfaces used for athletic purposes.  It also crowds out native species.
Fun Facts: The genus name Plantago comes from the Greek word planta, which translates to “footprint.”  The broadleaf plantain is thought to look like the sole of a foot.
Whole plant
Plantain in flower
whole plant
plantain in flower