Plantago Lanceolata - Narrowleaf or English Plantain
Native to Eurasia, this plant is known commonly as ribwort, or the narrowleaf or English plantain, and widespread in the British Isles.
Reaching up to 60cm tall, leaves grow from the base of the plant in rosettes. Leaves can grow to around 30cm long, lanceolate and barely toothed.
Flowers grow on a leafless hairy stem up to 40cm long. The inflorescence is made up of many small flowers around 4mm wide, yellow-white, and a spike that protrudes from the pompom-shaped flower cluster, around 8cm long. Blooms appear from midsummer until the temperatures drop significantly.
Young leaves are edible, though may be considered bitter, as are flower buds, which are considered to have a mushroom-like flavour. Historically ribwort has been used in many medicinal contexts fora variety of issues including hay fever, bronchitis, insect bites, and as an antibacterial agent, both internally and externally.
Please consult a GP before using in a medicinal context.
Enjoys full sun and a well draining soil
Fully hardy to -15°C.