Broadleaf plantain

June 5, 2015

Plantago major L. Plantaginaceae (Plantain family)

Life cycle

Rosette-forming simple perennial.


All leaves originate from a basal rosette. Cotyledons are long and spatula-shaped. Leaves are generally smooth and broadly to narrowly oval, with parallel veins and smooth to slightly wavy leaf margins. Leaf base tapers to a distinct petiole. Petioles are usually green but occasionally pale pink.

broadleaf plantain rosette
Broadleaf plantain rosette.


No visible aboveground stem. Short taproot present.

Flowers and fruit

 Leafless stalks bear long, dense, cylindershaped flowering spikes and fruit resembling a rat tail. Single flowers are inconspicuous. Fruiting capsules yield many narrowly oval, usually glossy brown seeds.

broadleaf plantain flowering spikes
Broadleaf plantain flowering spikes.



broadleaf plantain seedling
Broadleaf plantain seedling.

Similar weeds

Blackseed plantain (P. rugelii Dcne.)
Differs by often having dark red to purple petioles, usually wavy leaf margins and dull dark brown to black seeds.

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Integrated Pest Management

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