Wildflowers of Bradlaugh Fields #28 Ribwort Plantain

Plantago lanceolata

Like the related broad-leaved plantain, which also grows in Bradlaugh Fields, the ribwort plantain is very easily distinguished from other plants by the flowerheads which are long and dense with tiny flowers packed into a tubular shape (as shown in this diagram). After flowering the seed-heads have a knobbly appearance.The leaves have prominent veins, hence the name ‘ribwort‘, and in this species’ case also the leaves are long and thin. It can be used medicinally, and historically, it apparently indicates agricultural and grazing activity occurring.

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