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Buckhorn Plantain

Plantago lanceolata

Common Name: Buckhorn plantain (a.k.a English plantain, Narrow-leaved plantain, Rib-grass, Ribwort, Black-jacks)
Scientific Name: Plantago lanceolata
Family: Plantaginaceae
Growth Form: Herb
Native Range: Europe
Alien Range: Widespread through the United States and Canada
Introduction: The Buckhorn plantain was brought to the U.S. by European settlers.  It spreads both by seeds, which become sticky when wet to promote animal dispersal, and by shoots from the roots.
Description: ·Leaves:  Range in shape from lanceolate to elliptical.  5-25 cm long, 1-2.5 cm wide.  Form rosette on ground.  3-5 parallel veins.  Margins usually entire, but can be toothed.  Silky hair at leaf base

·Flowers:  Appear at top of single, ridged, leafless, stalk between June and September.  Individual flowers difficult to differentiate. 

·Fruit: Appear concurrently with flowers at top of stalk.  2 seeds.  1.5-3.5 mm long.  Brown, shiny capsule with dent in one side. 

Threats: Serves as a host for the rosy apple aphid.  Forms dense clumps that interrupt athletic fields or golf courses. 
Fun Facts: Leaves can be used as an herb, in salads, or to make tea.  Whole seeds, when ingested, have a laxative effect.
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