Plantago: what a cool weed!

up-close-plantain

The cool stem on this weed caught my eye. I looked it up and it’s Plantago, an edible and medicinal herb that has been used for centuries. And it’s growing all though out my field. Good find!

Benefits of Plantago

Itch relief: bug bites and rashes

I read several comments from farmers, land surveyors and gardeners who would chew up Plantago leaves and apply it to ant bites and bee stings.

My kids and I are always stepping in anthills, so I look forward to making my own Plantago ant bite relief meds.

Edible Leaves

I tried some. I’m guessing it’s a little bitter now because it bolted – assuming this concept applies here too – but with lettuce and herbs, when they put up that stem (bolt) the flavor becomes bitter.

Plantago leaves

I’m guessing when in season, it would be a good addition to a mixed salad, I’ll keep and eye out for it again so I can try the new growth, as the larger leaves have a weird texture.

Edible Seeds

So I read the seeds are edible too. I need to wait a little longer until the dry and I’m going to check that out!

10 inch tall flower spike on plantago

I’ll be pretty excited if they seeds worth harvesting for food. I eat a lot of smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal and cereal – so edible seeds are always welcome here.

Plantago growing conditions

There are hundreds of Plantago growing in my field, which usually spends the rainy season under several inches of water.

The soil is still fairly wet, and pretty compacted from years of lawn mowers (no more!) and four-wheelers driving on it.

Plantago varieties

There are hundreds of Plantago varieties – some native to Florida, and others brought from Europe.

I believe the variety I found is plantago virginica, a Florida Native category. If I’m wrong, please contact me through our IG or FB page!

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