Herbs & Plants

Plantago australis

Plantago-altissima_1 (Photo credit: amadej2008)

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Botanical Name : Plantago australis
Family: Plantaginaceae– Plantain family
Genus: Plantago L.– plantain
Species:Plantago australis Lam.– Mexican plantain
Subspecies: Plantago australis Lam. ssp. hirtella (Kunth) Rahn– Mexican plantain
Kingdom: Plantae– Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta– Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta– Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta– Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida– Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Plantaginales

*Plantago australis Lam. ssp. hirtella (Kunth) Rahn
*PLHI4 Plantago hirtella Kunth
*PLHIG2 Plantago hirtella Kunth ssp. galeottiana (Decne.) Thorne
*PLHIG Plantago hirtella Kunth var. galeottiana (Decne.) Pilg.
*PLHIM Plantago hirtella Kunth var. mollior Pilg.

Common Name: Mexican Plantain

Habitat : Plantago australis is Native to
*South-Central U.S.A.: United States – New Mexico [s.]
*Southwestern U.S.A.: United States – Arizona [s.]
*Northern Mexico: Mexico – Baja Sur, Chihuahua, Durango, Nuevo Leon, San Luis Potosi, Sonora
*Southern Mexico: Mexico – Chiapas, Federal District, Hidalgo, Mexico, Michoacan, Morelos, Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz

*Mesoamerica: Costa Rica; El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; Nicaragua; Panama
*Northern South America: Venezuela
*Brazil: Brazil
*Western South America: Bolivia; Colombia; Ecuador; Peru
*Southern South America: Argentina; Chile; Paraguay [s.]; Uruguay

It grows in Cultivated Beds.

Plantago australis is a Perennial plant growing to 0.2m by 0.2m.
It is hardy to zone 0. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind. The plant is self-fertile.
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. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

We have very little information on this species but it has been growing successfully with us since 1990 and seems to be fully hardy. It succeeds in any moderately fertile soil in a sunny position.

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 Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves.

Young leaves – raw or cooked.

Medicinal Uses:
Laxative; Poultice.

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. A poultice of the leaves has been used in the treatment of cuts and boils.

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


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