Plantago lanceolata (Narrow Leaf Plantain)
Plantago lanceolata volunteers as an edible and medicinal groundcover in moist soils in the garden.
This plant is useful to have in the garden as it can be used by humans, and is known to attract wildlife.
Common Name: Narrow leaf plantain
Scientific Name: Plantago lanceolata
Plant Family: Plantaginaceae
Edible Parts: The leaves of the plantago lanceolata can be consumed as a tea, or eaten both raw and cooked. The seeds can be eaten as well.
Medicinal Uses: The consumption of the leaves is believed to treat a variety of aliments including cough, diarrhea, dysentery, and hematuria. Additionally, the leaves are believed to function as bronchodilators, helping treat throat colds. The leaves can also be ground up and used to treat skin irritations such as blisters, insect bites, and sores. The consumption of the plantago lanceolata seeds may reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.
Meaning of Scientific Name: The scientific name for this plant arises from the Latin word for “plantain” plantago, and the Latin word meaning “lance”, lanceolata. Therefore, this plant is a plantain with narrow, lance shaped leaves.
Designing with this Plant
USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-9
Forest garden layer: Herbaceous. This plant can grow in any soil type, and can survive in nutritionally poor areas.
- Brandeis University, Medicinal Plants of the Northeast (n.d.), http://www.bio.brandeis.edu/fieldbio/medicinal_plants/pages/Narrow_Plantain.htm
- Plants for a Future Plantago lanceolata - L. (n.d.), https://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Plantago+lanceolata
- Dave’s Garden, Ribwort Plantain, Narrowleaf Plantain (n.d.), https://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/2054/