Broad-Leaved or Common Plantain, Plantago major
Plantaginaceae or Plantain Family

Plants Low plant, up to 2 feet tall, but may be very small where mowing is fequent. Leaves broadly oval with marked veins, all basal, often with wavy or weakly toothed edges. Bases of leafstalks usually completely green. Flowers very tiny, green, in a long, crowded spike on top of a long green stalk. Blooms summer into fall. Fruits tiny capsules that dry up, turn brown, and split in half to release the brown seeds. This kind of fruit is called a pyxis, plural pyxides.

An alien, troublesome weed of waste places, lawns and gardens. In Wildwood, very common along the bikeway and Wildwood Drive and near the Main Street entrance, especially in areas that are mowed. Often side-by-side with the native black-seeded plantain.

A familiar lawn weed. The native black-seeded plantain (P. rugelii) is very similar, but usually has red or purple coloring at the bases of the leaf stalks. Certain identification requires examining the fruits; the pyxides of black-seeded plantain are elongated and split well below the middle ro release black seeds. Dwarf plantain (P. virginica) is also similar, but much smaller and has hairy leaves and stems. English plantain (P. lanceolata) has relatively narrow leaves, and the flowers are in a short, brown spike at the end of a long stalk.


 Fruiting stalk