The Plantain family

This week a relative small family in our regions; the Plantaginaceae or the Plantains.

Greater Plantain or Plantago major is probably our best known species in this family

The Plantaginaceae is now in the 121st family in the latest 4th edition of Stace, behind the colourful Veronicaceae (Speedwell family) and before the obscure Hippuridaceae (Mare’s-tail family). It consist of just two genera, Plantago with 7 species and Littorella with just one species.

Each species is a much more humble plant, not really shouting out for attention as some of our plant families covered in earlier blogs.

The generic name Plantago is derived from the Latin for sole and it should not be confused with the other unrelated plantain which is a starchy banana.

In my eyes it is an attractive genus with boldness in its various leaf outlines and interesting flower spikes.

Find out about all their uses to us people and our wildlife on the next page.

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