The broad leaf plantain has leaves over 2.5 centimeters across
that grow close to the ground. The flowers are on a spike that
rises from the middle of the cluster of leaves. The narrow leaf
plantain has leaves up to 12 centimeters long and 2.5 centimeters
wide, covered with hairs. The leaves form a rosette. The flowers
are small and inconspicuous.
Habitat and Distribution
Look for these plants in lawns and along roads in the North
Temperate Zone. This plant is a common weed throughout much of
The young tender leaves are edible raw. Older leaves should
be cooked. Seeds are edible raw or roasted.
To relieve pain from wounds and sores, wash and soak the entire
plant for a short time and apply it to the injured area. To treat
diarrhea, drink tea made from 28 grams (1 ounce) of the plant
leaves boiled in 0.5 liter of water. The seeds and seed husks
act as laxatives.
The seeds of the broad-leaved plantain can be pulled off the
tough stems quickly, and gathered in large quantity. They are
rich in vitamins and protein.
Plantain tea has been used for centuries to treat coughs,
laryngitis, sore throats, tuberculosis, mouth sores and bronchitis.