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how to plant weed plantain seeds

Broadleaf Plantain, Common Plantain or Greater Plantain (Plantago major). This plant has no connection with the fruit that looks like a Banana that is also called a Plantain. It is a leafy green found in waste places, paths, lawns in full to part sun. There are many variations of the Plantain, but the best one for eating is the Broadleaf.

Broadleaf Plantain, Common Plantain or Greater Plantain (Plantago major) flowers up close. (By: H. Zell GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)

Broadleaf Plantain, Common Plantain or Greater Plantain (Plantago major) illustration. (By: Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885, Gera, Germany)

Harvesting: For greens, harvest small, young leaves only. Don’t use the pathway plants for this, only use the ones you left to grow upright.

Seeds: Plantain produces a lot of seeds on the ends of the long thin seed heads. Gather when mature when the seedhead turns from green to tan. When choosing the plants to gather the seeds from, look for the kind with the wide leaves.

Common Plantain (Plantago Major Rosularis) – The flowers of Common Plantain are shaped like small green cabbage heads. Plants grow 12 inches tall when in full bloom and are easily grown from herb seeds. The foliage is low growing and green. The name ‘Rosularis’ means rose-like referring to the look of the flower heads which are shaped like double roses. Common Plantain will self-seed readily by dropping its seeds and forming new Plantain herbs the following spring. Other names for this herb are Greater Plantain and Rat Tail Plantain.

The young, tender leaves of the Common Plantain plant are edible, and can be used as a salad green of cooked and eaten like spinach. The taste is that of very bitter salad greens with a lingering aftertaste not unlike spinach. Plantain herb plants had historical medicinal use as a wound healer and snakebite remedy, and today the Plantain herbs have been found to have scientific merit. The Common Plantain plant is also enjoyed by butterfly larvae and if allowed to seed, birds eat the dried seeds.

How To Grow Common Plantains: In a prepared seedbed, sow the Plantain seeds directly outside in the early spring. Lightly cover the herb seeds with soil and keep moist.