The flower heads taste surprisingly like mushroom and can also be used by school children as ‘pop’ guns.
|Common Names||Ribwort Plantain, Narrow Leaf Plantain|
|Scientific Name||Plantago lanceolata|
The leaves are long, narrow, lanceolate shaped and have veins (ribs) running parallel from the base of the leaf to the pointed top.
The flowers grow from a stubby brown inflorescence on a leafless flower stalk and are tiny and white and can be found throughout Summer.
Fields, lawns, meadows, roadsides, waste ground, parks and even sand dunes. It is a very hardy plant and can usually be found in any environment with soil.
Can look a little like Hoary Plantain, Plantago media but this has downy/hairy leaves and is edible.
The leaves, like Common Plantain, are too bitter, even when young but the ‘bud’ on the flower stem tastes suprisingly like mushroom.
The leaves can be collected at any time for medicinal use, the flower ‘buds’, if being used to make a mushroom stock, need to be collected after they have turned brown but before they get really dry.
Ribwort Plantain seems to be a very versatile addition to the medicine cabinet being an antihistamine, antifungal, antioxidant, analgesic and even a mild antibiotic. Used as an antihistamine, Ribwort Plantain is very effective at dealing with nettle stings or insect bites/stings unlike Dock which is just a placebo but if your children get stung and you can’t find any Plantain, placebos work.
The leaves can also be used to make a tea that acts as an effective cough medicine.
The roots apparantly make an effective treatment for rattlesnake bites!