PLANTAGINACEAE (Plantain) - Wildflowers of the Escambia

 

The Plantain family is made up entirely of herbs, all having a basal rosette of leaves and flowers borne in spikes on tall stems. Throughout the world there is recorded three genera and about 250 species, most found in some form in all climates and elevations. Seeds of these plants become mucilaginous when wet and were used in primitive medicine as a laxative.
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English Plantain
(Plantago lanceolata)

Common Plantain
(P. major)
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English Plantain is common throughout the Escambia region; roadsides, lawns, gardens, and waste places. Its distinctive characteristic is the long, narrow stalk bearing a cylindrical head of tiny, spirally-arranged, greenish-white flowers. This introduced plantain is often a troublesome weed, but for the seed which provides excellent forage for songbirds as well as caged birds, the plant would have no economical value. The leaf is a favored food for rabbits and other leaf-eaters.
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Common Plantain is also known as Hoary Plantain. The flowers are massed on a tall, narrow stalk which arises from a large rosette of broad leaves. This plant is considered a weed in lawns and gardens. It is easily distinguished from the English Plantain by its flower spike. Aside from the seeds being equally taste to songbirds and other wildlife, the plant has no economic value.
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