© 2018 Gary J. Sibio. All rights reserved.

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Plantain (Genus Plantago)

Plantain (2018-06-12 13-42-15a)

The plantain here is not the same as the plantain that produces a fruit which looks like a small banana. This is a small, rather inconspicuous plant with a worldwide range (North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand). It belongs to the order Lamiales, the family Plantaginaceae, the tribe Plantagineae and the genus Plantago which contains approximately 200 species.

The leaves of the plantain are sessile meaning they are at ground level. They have three to five veins which diverge in the broad part of the leaf. Leaves vary between wide and narrow depending on the species. The flower is a green stalk.

Some species of butterflies and moths feed on the plantain. Plantain has been widely used by humans for medical purposes and is edible.

The photo was taken in a sidewalk planter operated by the City of Chicago on 12 Jun 2018 using a Nikon Coolpix P7700 camera and edited using Luminar 2018. I used the Accent-AI and Structure filters and added the Tone filter to lower the SmartTone and highlights and raise the shadows.

Text and photo © 2018 Gary J. Sibio. All rights reserved.


What do you think?

Written by Gary J Sibio


  1. I could have sworn that I wrote about plantain, but can’t find my article now. I do eat them and we have both broad-leafed and thin-leafed plantain growing here. This is a rather bland veggie, but it is vitamin and mineral packed and is good in stews.

    • You may have. I’ve been having a difficult time finding articles I know I’ve posted on Virily. They are there if you have the link but searching turns up nothing and I’ve got too many to page through them all.

  2. When I lived in Illinois as a child one of my jobs was to pull weeds in the garden. I have always loved weeds and had serious issues about pulling some of them. Plantain was one that I told my parents we should keep as it looked good to eat. They insisted that it was poisonous and I had better not eat it. Glad to hear they were wrong. Have you tasted any?

    • No, I haven’t. The problem is that I would have to go pick it from other people’s yards. The one I photographed is too close to a busy street to be trustworthy.