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Plantain
shopping: all 3 varieties
Plantago major

plantain

plant overview
ancient cosmopolitan weed

Plantain is an ancient plant original to Europe but now widely distributed throughout most of the world. Although the herb has a very long history of use, many people consider it a nuisance plant when it shows up in their carefully manicured lawns. In fact, plantain is so prolific and persistent in spread that it’s referred to as a cosmopolitan weed, meaning it’s often found growing in roadside gravel or jutting out between rocks. While fresh plantain leaf is consumed as a bitter salad herb, the dried leaf is used to produce teas, tonics and infusions. Due to the presence of an astringent compound called aucubin, plantain is also used to make poultices as well as infused oils and tinctures for topical use.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.
Plantain
01.
A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information on plantain

description
Plantago major is an herbaceous perennial plant of the Plantaginaceae family with a rosette of leaves 15–30 cm in diameter. Each leaf is oval-shaped, 5–20 cm long and 4–9 cm broad; it rarely reaches up to 30 cm long and 17 cm broad. The leaves have an acute apex and a smooth margin; there are five to nine conspicuous veins. The plantain's flowers are small, greenish-brown with purple stamens and are clustered in a dense spike 5–15 cm long on top of a stem averaging 13–15 cm tall (rarely to 70 cm tall).

Plantain is wind-pollinated and the plant propagates primarily by seed. These seeds grow on long, narrow spikes which rise well above the foliage. Each plant can produce up to 20,000 of its very small, oval-shaped, and bitter seeds.

common names & nomenclature
Puritan colonizers reportedly brought plantain to the Americas where it thrived in the disturbed and damaged ecosystems surrounding European settlements. As such it was known among some Native American peoples by the common name "white man's footprint".

Also known as:
greater plantain, broadleaf plantain, englishman's foot, ripple grass, snakeweed


02.
Where in the World
habitat and range for plantain

Plantain is native to most of Europe and northern and central Asia, but has widely naturalized in other parts of the world.

03.
Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting plantain

climate
Plantain grows in lawns and fields, along roadsides, and enjoys other sunny areas that have been disturbed by humans.

soil
Plantain does particularly well in compacted or disturbed soils.

growing
Sow seeds in spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, transplant the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer. A sowing can be made outdoors directly into the garden in mid to late spring.

harvesting
Plantain leaves are harvested when young and tender.

preserving
Store cut or powdered plantain leaves in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
you should always consult with your doctor
before making any changes to your diet!!
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