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Plantago major

Broadleaf plantain (left) and blackseed plantain (right) fruiting stalks.

Broadleaf plantain rosette with elongating reproductive stalks.

Broadleaf plantain seeds.

  • 'Plantain' is from the French word meaning 'sole of the foot' referring to the plant's flat leaves.

  • Plantains were once highly esteemed medicinal herbs. Leaves were used to treat bites, stings, cuts, sore feet, and ailments of the eyes, tongue, and mouth.

  • Young plantain leaves are used in China and Japan as a vegetable similar to spinach.

  • Birds are fond of plantain seeds, which contain a higher percentage of oil than many seeds and are grown commercially and included in some bird seed mixtures.