Plantago major L.
Plantago asiatica auct. non L.
Plantago halophila E.P. Bicknell
Plantago major L. ssp. intermedia (DC.) Arcang.
Plantago major L. var. asiatica auct. non (L.) Decne.
Plantago major L. var. intermedia (DC.) Pilg.
Plantago major L. var. pachyphylla Pilg.
Plantago major L. var. pilgeri Domin
Plantago major L. var. scopulorum Fr. & Broberg
This native of much of Europe and Asia has since spread worldwide, where it is a very common weed. Native americans, observing it for the first time after Europeans came to the Americas, called it “white man’s footprint” or “Englishman’s foot.”
Identification: Plants have a rosette of low-lying oval leaves, each 1¾-8" (5-20 cm) long and 1½-3½" (4-9 cm) wide. It produces stalks 6-18" (15-45 cm) tall, with inconspicuous greenish white flowers along the entire length. The tall stalks are the most noticeable feature of the plant. The flowers become small green seedpods about ⅛" (3.2 mm) long, containing 10-20 tiny seeds. Plantain grows in virtually any soil, inhabiting spaces no sensible plant would dare approach, such as heavily trodden sand parking lots.
Edibility: The young leaves are edible. Remove the fibrous strands before using them on salads. Blanching (brief immersion in boiling water) softens them a bit.
Plantago major on kingdomPlantae.net
Plantago major on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants
Plantago major University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program
Plantago major on Wikipedia
Plantago major on Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness
Plantago major at the Oregon Flora Image Project
Plantago major on the Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide
Plantago major on SEINet—the Southwest Environmental Information Network
Plantago major on eFloras
Plantago major description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 5 Oct 2016.