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Common Name :Hoary plantain
Habitat :Plantago media is native to central and western Europe, including Great Britain and introduced to parts of the north-east United States. Its generic name is derived from the Latin for sole; like other members of Plantago, it should not be confused with the plantain, a starchy banana.It grows fields, meadows and lawns. A common weed of lawns and cultivated land, especially on dry or calcareous soils.It generally grows in damp grassy meadows up to an altitude of 2000 m.
Plantago media is a perennial herb growing to 0.1m by 0.1m.
It is hardy to zone 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to August, and the seeds ripen from July to September. A slender stalk of between 5 to 50 cm develops from a basal rosette of finely-haired leaves. Delicate pink-white flowers are borne between May and September. P. media is hemaphrodite and is pollinated by wind or insects, particularly bees. The plant is self-fertile. It is noted for attracting wildlife.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soil. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.
Succeeds in any moderately fertile soil in a sunny position. Grows well in the spring meadow. An important food plant for the caterpillars of many species of butterflies. The flowers are sweetly scented.
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer. A sowing can be made outdoors in situ in mid to late spring if you have enough seeds.
Edible Parts: :Flowers; Leaves.
Young leaves – raw or cooked. The very young leaves have a fairly mild flavour but with a slight bitterness. Used in salads before they become tough. The inflorescence is sweet and is sucked by children.
The leaves, flowering stems and roots are somewhat astringent, deobstruent, depurative, diuretic, expectorant, haemostatic, refrigerant and vulnerary. They are applied externally to skin inflammations, malignant ulcers, cuts etc. A mouthwash made from the leaves helps to relieve toothache and a distilled water is a good eyewash. The seeds are demulcent and laxative. Plantain seeds contain up to 30% mucilage which swells up in the gut, acting as a bulk laxative and soothing irritated membranes. Sometimes the seed husks are used without the seeds.
The leaves are a cure for blight on fruit trees.
The flowers are sweetly scented.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider