Common Plantain
Plantago major
Family Plantaginaceae

* Leaves broad, ovate to spade-shaped, ribbed, hairy, with trough-like stems.
* Flower head spike-like, covered with tightly packed seeds, greenish to yellowish to brownish.
* Height: 3-7".

Natural History:
* Flowers June - October.
* Habitat: Common in lawns, roadsides, and waste places. Look for it on Severance Green and other campus lawns.
* Range: Throughout the United States.
* Introduced from Europe.

* The common plantain was introduced to America by the first European settlers. In fact, Native Americans associated it so closely with the English colonists that they named it English-Man's-Foot, as if it would only grow where English feet had trodden. However, old names for the plant, such as the German Wegerich and Wegetritt, the Dutch Weegblad and Weegbree, the Danish Veibred, and the old English Weybred, all contain references to paths and ways walked by man. The plantain is intimately connected to the movements of human feet.


Created by: Allaire Diamond and Jiasuey Hsu
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: July 31, 1998
Last Modified: November 21, 2008