Broadleaf Plantain


dooryard plantain, common plantain, Englishman's foot

Plantago major

Broadleaf plantain is probably the second most common broadleaf weed of turf after dandelion. It is extremely well adapted to most sites including dry or wet conditions, heavy soils and very low mowing heights. It is as much of a weed of roadsides and pastures as it is of manicured landscapes.

This plant has a short, thick tap root that forms a rosette of leaves that lay flat to the ground. The broad oval-shaped leaves have 3-5 prominent parallel veins and are attached to the root system by a very fibrous celery-shaped petiole.

Broadleaf plantain flowers in the summer on leafless, unbranched stalks that originate from the base of the plant.

  • Crops Affected: turf


    Broadleaf plantain will thrive in most turf sites but is very tolerant of harsh compacted, wet or dry conditions. Plants will remain conspicuously green during drought and throught the winter. Due to the short, tough root system, physical removal may be an effective remedy. Physical removal is easiest when the soil is moist, either from rain, irrigation or a soak from the garden hose.

    Similar Species

    Broadleaf plantain and blackseed plantain (Plantago rugelii) often grow together and many times are identified as the same plant. Broadleaf plantain is an import from Europe, whereas blackseed is native to the U.S. The leaves on blackseed plantain are more elongated and lighter green, while the petioles tend to be more red-to-purple at the base. Buckhorn plantain has much narrower leaves that either broadleaf or blackseed. The seed capsules on buckhorn plantain form at the top of a leafless stalk. The seeds of broadleaf plantain cover the entire stalk.