Plantago lanceolata

Plantago lanceolata L.

Common Names: English Plantain, Ribwort, Narrow Leaf Plantain, Lamb’s Tongue, Buck Horn

Family: Plantaginaceae

Habit: Plantago lanceolata grows as a glabrous perennial herb up to 50 cm in height when in flower. The leaves are arranged alternately in a basal rosette, up to 30 cm in length and 4 cm wide, lanceolate with an entire or slightly toothed leaf margin, cuneate leaf base and an acute leaf apex. There are 3-5 distinct veins.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in a terminal, spike with each flower subtended by a bract.  The calyx has 4 green, unfused, reflexed sepals. The corolla has 4 fused at the base, green petals with the lobes reflexed. There are 4 stamens that are longer than the carpel and often white. The ovary is superior with 1 locule and numerous ovules.  The fruit is a capsule.

Habitat: Plantago lanceolata grows in Human Altered environments (yards, fields, disturbed areas, abandoned fields, roadsides).

Distribution: Plantago lanceolata is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago but has been observed in the central and southern island groupings.  It is native to Europe and Eurasia but has become naturalized globally.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Plantago lanceolata is not known to be used medicinally in the Bahamas.

It has been used medicinally in Europe to treat respiratory issues and dermatological problems.