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.
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